Tuesday, October 27

Riding and Shutter tripping (Click on pics for better fall colors)

Recently while on a trip to Starved Rock State Park, I embraced the inevitability of the riding season ending soon. I started out in damp, cold temps below freezing. The day progressed nicely and reached the low 50s. When I arrived at the park, I unpacked and de-layered. As I removed my camera gear a group of men exited a car. They too had camera equipment. We were all there for the same thing: Starved Rock's annual Fall Color Hike, a series of guided hikes thought the park. One man said to me, "Eh, a little cold to be on a bike, uh?" I looked at him, "What?" He responded, "A little cold to be on a bike, uh?" I told him I had heated gear. "Still, a little cold, don't you think?" Now, this always makes me wonder..."Why is he talking to me?" But I responded with as much cheer as I could muster. So I say to him, "Oh, it's exhilarating...it's really not a problem. I'm toasty--the heated gear is the key." His friends all said they hadn't heard of heated motorcycle clothes but felt that it would make for comfortable travel. But their show off buddy was having none of it. "Well, that's good...but I think it's still a little cold to be on a bike this time of year." I wanted to say so many things to him, but thought, "What's the point?" Different strokes for different folks. Still, I had to consciously shake off my first question, "Why is this man even questioning me"?!

I haven't much to say today. I shall ride until they pry the bike from my hands that remain comfortably tucked inside heat gloves atop heated grips. One year I was able to ride until December 3rd or so. On that day a huge blizzard-like snow storm was predicted. I remember riding to the shop that stores my bike over winter. It was near rush hour and everyone had the same idea--leave work early to get home before the deluge. I sat in snarled traffic as the wet, fat snow flakes began to fall. By the time I reached the shop the streets were wet, temps were dropping, roads were becoming slick. Winter was putting an exclamation point on its arrival.

I see fewer bikes on my trips nowadays but when the temps reach 50, the two wheels hit the road again. Today, I have pics to share. Some are from two wheel rides I've taken recently; some are from a recent car trip on four wheels, to Savanna and Galena, IL. All are about embracing the fall and it glorious colors. Some were taken with my faithful Nikon D80 and some with my new toy, the Nikon D300s.

Embracing Fall (The colors look their best when viewed large, click on the image)

Included are three abstracts. Two are taken of trees; I am using a very slow shutter speed. shooting up into the trees and twisting the camera while tripping the shutter to get a swirling effects and a creative way of conveying fall transformations. One is a multiple exposure effect (ten, to be exact) to give the forest a dreamy appearance. You can probably guess which is which.

Embrace the fall...Ride safe and watch out for wet leaves in curves.


Anonymous said...

Gorgeous photos, all well worth the click.

Ride on,

cpa3485 said...

It is hard to know how to respond to people like the one who kept asking questions. I guess that I assume they are just trying to be nice. But it is more fun to try and think up a response like Mad Magazine's Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions.
Those pictures are very nice.

Sojourner's Moto Tales said...

Hi Torch,

Thanks. And, thanks for dropping by!

Sojourner's Moto Tales said...


I sort of think that guy was showing off for his buddies. One can tell a lot by the person's tone and his was a tad show-offy. I don't know what is so hard about being nice--why people have to "try" is beyond me. Had he said, "How is it riding in this weather?" It would have been a very different feel--his intention would have been clear. Hey, live and learn, right. I always think up the good responses AFTER the exchange!


Unknown said...

The fall colors are amazing right now. You did them justice. Live by the moto "don't winterize". You never know in our neck of the woods. I do the Stabil and battery tender, but the Connie is always ready. Especially with the GS, you are set stratch the itch yearround.

Sojourner's Moto Tales said...

Hi Jeffry,

Thanks for dropping by. I am thinking about keeping at least one of the three bikes at home for just the reasons you express. You're so right, we never know here; I'd love to be able to crank up a bike in the dead of winter and take to the road. And, it's the GS that I think we should keep home. Thanks for reminding me....

Unknown said...


You are having fun with your new toy doing multiple exposures. That "brntree" made me a bit dizzy. I was imagining looking up and twirling on one of those circular playground cirles. They are all very nice but I really liked "hillview" with the two S-curves on the left with all the brown leaves on the ground.
You should put yourself into one of those. I was thinking of one with you covered in a pile of leaves with just your head sticking out, or perhaps just "an arm" . . . would make for an interesting halloween picture.
I presume the D300 compensates for the exposure when you dial in the number of shots. My old Canon used to do it.
I usually have one bike insured all year "just in case", but I do winterize it with fuel stabilizer and battery tender. Everytime I refuel I just add more stabilizer. My vote is for the GS

bobskoot: wet coast scootin

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Sharon:

You are too kind and too considerate. You classified this gentlerman as a "show off." Yet from time to time I have met men of this ilk and generally regard them as "overbearing a**holes." Either because you were a woman, or because you rode a BMW, or both, this gentlemen thought his opinion would outweigh yours.

I used to ride with a guy like this, who made a habit of speaking down to me, until I made it clear I wanted to go faster and farther on our little rides. Even in my enfeebled state, I could kick his butt on two wheels.

But in your case, I think the guy just wanted to impose his view point. And I realize there were four of them, but just imagine how he would have looked if in answer to his question, "Isn't kind of cold to ride today," you had said, "Not for anyone with balls."

I love fall pictures with open water... And I love photographs with train stuff in them. You had one with a lake... One with the reflection of trees in ripples stirred by a pebble or something. And a couple with train tracks. Train tracks are utterly poetic and desolate at the same time.

I got out this weekend too, but didn't get the shots you mustered. Great post with a lot of cool effects.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad
Twisted Roads

Sojourner's Moto Tales said...

Hey Jack,

Thanks! Glad you enjoyed the pics--I should have posted one of the pics of the training running through Galena--it was a beautiful sight that I think you would have enjoyed. Oh well...perhaps it'll get posted in another entry.

HA! I would have LOVED to have said your "balls" comment to the guy--but would be no match for him if he got really angry and I met up with him in the woods--Yikes! We have a saying here in Chicago (don't know if it's universal): "Don't let your mouth write a check that your body can't cash."

And for some reason, I didn't have my weapon of choice with me that day.

Hoping to catch up with you soon...

RichardM said...

I really enjoyed looking at the photos. We don't get colors like that in the Fall (all we have is yellow). The riding season has just ended but I managed to keep riding until last week and got a lot of comments from other riders. All positive.

irondad said...

I finally came to the conclusion that any fool can flap their lips and make sounds come out. To quote one of Hollywood's cultured giants ( okay, it's Mr T ) "Pity the fool!"

Cool pics. Never thought of twisting the camera, even though I've played with moving the zoom lense during a long exposure. You must have a devious mind!

Does the D3000 take video? One of those does, maybe it's the 5000.

Sojourner's Moto Tales said...

Hi Richard,

Thanks for stopping by. Glad you liked the pics. I've had your part of the world on my trip list for a long time.

Sojourner's Moto Tales said...


I don't know about the Nikon 3000--it's a different camera from the D300s

My D300s is the upgrade of the popular semi-pro Nikon D300.

The D300s does, however, take video, a feature I will probably never use.

BTW, sometimes my mind is a tad "devious." haha!

Jonathan said...

Beautiful shots Sharon. The summer rain has held on strong through the fall here in Central Pa.

Sojourner's Moto Tales said...


Thanks! And, thanks for stopping over...Central PA is one of my favorite haunts--actual, I've always enjoyed PA in general! We had some nice temps this weekend and I was able to get on two wheels but I know the window for getting a long trip in seems to be closing.

Unknown said...


Go back eight posts above . . .

I'm feeling left out :(

bobskoot: wet coast scootin

Sojourner's Moto Tales said...

My dear, dear Bobscoot,

I am so sorry for leaving you out. I'm hoping you don't have any abandonment issues that my omission made worse. ;-)

I could have sworn that I responded to you as I clearly remember writing (perhaps I was sleeping?) that I too thought the GS would be the better choice to keep home over the winter. I actually think I did write and some 'net gremlins ate my response before it could be posted. Seriousl! Yeah, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I surely didn't mean to ignore you. I beg for your understanding.

Your BBF (best friend forever)


p.s. Thanks for liking the pics--I appreciate that. I'm going to go now and set some traps for those gremliins...

Unknown said...


all is okay. If it elevated me to BFF status then you are forgiven.

I'm floating in the clouds now

bobskoot: wet coast scootin

SonjaM said...

Lovely Fall pics. Already Winter in this part of the world. Ride safely and watch the leaves. Greeting from Canada.

Sojourner's Moto Tales said...

bobskoot aka BFF,

I can feel the luv!


and back at 'cha!

Sojourner's Moto Tales said...


Thanks for dropping by! Thanks for enjoying the pics. That winter is already in your presence is a reminder of the inevitability of change, isn't it. It will be here soon enough and I'm prepping myself to do less whining about it this year. ;-)

BTW, Canada is a favorite--and frequent-- destination of mine! Heading to Nova Scotia next ride season--I'm really excited.