"The Rhythm of The Road"
Reno, NV -
6:42 riding time
Newspaper Guy with Penny the Min-Pin
"She thinks she's ten foot tall, don't mind her a bit." I was admiring Newspaper Guy's miniature pinscher, also known as a 'Min-Pin'. This particular one goes by 'Penny'. Penny was barking at two space-suited aliens on strange contraptions ... oh wait, that's us. Newspaper Guy was delivering San Francisco Chronicles to the newspaper vending machine just outside the Black Bear Diner when we pulled up to have breakfast.
"Those are BMWs, right?" He pulled the stubby cigar butt out of his mouth long enough to let out an admiring whistle. "Them are nice bikes." I nodded my head in agreement. And I wasn't even wearing Whiz's rose-colored glasses. Another great day of riding, without any problems from the bikes. Life is good. And we'll be home in one more day.
Ready to roll at oh-dark-hundred
Starting in Tucson a couple of days ago, we decided that we needed to start riding earlier in the morning in order to get more miles in and to beat the heat. Once we got used to this adjustment in the routine, we found that we actually preferred getting up at 4am and being on the road by 5am, rather than our previous routine of waking at 6am and rolling by 7am. The hours just before dawn are quiet, the traffic is sparse, and we can knock off 100 miles before breakfast. With this new schedule, we've been doing more than 400 miles a day and getting into the motel with enough time to comfortably prepare your daily entree. It could be a permanent revision to the W&G style sheet.
After breakfast we rode north out of Susanville CA on highway 139 which winds up above Eagle Lake. It was a beautiful ride through the Lassen National Forest. Very little traffic, very pleasant road.
Gizmo strikes a pose on Highway 139 above Eagle Lake near Susanville CA
|Whizmo admiring Eagle Lake||View of Eagle Lake from 139|
As we crossed into Oregon and the Klamath Falls area, the scenery switched from forests to farm land. There are many picturesque old farm structures lining the road, decaying but apparently functional.
As we rode up US 97 through central Oregon toward Bend, I had plenty of time to reflect on this year's trip. We often refer to The Road as a proper noun. It might more properly be considered a condition. The Road imposes its order on your life. At the beginning of a trip, things are scattered, processes unproven. Slowly things come together, until the routine and rhythm become the backbone of every single day. When we play to the rhythm, things go smoothly, and few words need to be spoken as we wind through the day. On the days that we break the routine, we lose the rhythm. You quickly realize that there's a price to pay when you ignore the wisdom of your own accumulated experience. Every trip has its own unique rhythm. The sooner you find it, the happier you are. The rhythm carries you through the days that would otherwise be disasters, like day 14 when we rode through a thunderstorm. I ended that day with a smile on my face.
Upper Klamath Lake area
Rules to Live By from
Another thing that The Road delivers is experiences that can't possibly be anticipated. You certainly expect your fair share of humorous encounters, entertaining local color and awesome natural beauty. That's true for any road trip. But the W&G secret sauce adds an element of real-time interactivity with you, our readers and correspondents. Knowing that you're there, reading along with us every day, provides the incentive to immediately start writing as soon as we're done riding. Scanning through the incoming mail each day is always a highlight.
Every year we make lots of new friends through the adventures of Whizmo & Gizmo. Some of you we meet on the road, others here on line. No matter how we've met we share a love of adventure and The Road. During the course of these tours, we get lots of requests from people who want to be added to our mailing list. This is always gratifying to us because it means that you are recommending us to your friends and acquaintances. We thank you for that. Every request for a subscription is an affirmation that what we're doing is worthwhile. But beyond the subscription requests, your encouragement, and the jokes we can't print, sometimes there are deep surprises in our interaction with you.
This year, a most unusual twist occurred for me personally as a result of this website. I'd like to share it with you.
Mike Paull is a long-time W&G reader and a fellow BMW rider. (Mike also documents his own motorcycle adventures at http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/tstories/paull/ - check it out.) When we christened The Great Divide Tour a few weeks ago, Mike forwarded our mail to some of his motorcycling friends, suggesting they check us out. A few days into The Great Divide Tour, I received mail from a young woman who found us through Mike's recommendation. Here's an excerpt from her mail:
Mike Paull headed me to your web site today. Fabulous! I look forward to following the rest of the Great Divide trip. I am impressed that you can keep up with the real-time journal so well. I barely managed to scratch out the basics "where I'm sleeping, something I saw today, how many miles I rode" in my own journal, let alone sorting through photos and publishing for any and all to see. I just returned from my summer jaunt -- Seattle to the Northeast, visiting everyone I know along the way. Took me six weeks to get to Nova Scotia that way. Then I decided it was time to be home, so one very tiring week (4200 miles) home. But the trusty BMW (1994 R100GSPD, in my case) did just fine. I was a bit stiff.
Anyway, this is slightly more than a missive of appreciation from one motorcycle traveler to another. Although I know there are other Rikers out there, so far, all the ones I've met, I've been related to (my mother is a Riker). Somewhere I recall hearing of a Riker cousin in Seattle, so I'm wondering if you might be he?
Through subsequent correspondence, we determined that we are in fact related. There were multiple coincidences associated with this chance virtual encounter - we both live in the Seattle area, we both ride motorcycles, and we both worked for the same large software company. We're planning to get together soon to compare family trees and histories, then to stitch together these separated wings of the family.
It's quite startling to suddenly learn that today you have more relatives than you thought you had yesterday. My mental map of my family relations is now obsolete. I'm looking forward to rebuilding that map. But even more startling is the realization that if Whiz and I hadn't been willing to share our lives on The Road with you, this chance encounter never would have happened.
During the off-season, Whiz and I get together for coffee once in awhile, critiquing past efforts and kicking around ideas for future tours. We frequently debate the degree of personal exposure we feel comfortable with in this venue. We each have wives and families, and we enjoy our privacy. But we've gradually built up confidence that it's OK to share these unique experiences with you through the personae of Whizmo and Gizmo. It's obviously fun for us, or we wouldn't do it. Maintaining the website every day while touring has grown to a significant amount of work. This whole thing began because we thought creating these pages could be an efficient means of keeping our families assured that we were fine, things were going well, and that we were having some interesting and worthwhile experiences out here. We learned it was also interesting to a larger group, which continues to grow.
In spite of all the fun and positive feedback, exposing yourself in writing to this degree every day has its risks. We don't allow ourselves much time to review or edit what we've done. Every single day, I want to go back and punch up or polish what I wrote in previous days. I know it could be better, and maybe someday it will be better, if I ever figure out what to do with all these rough drafts. But regardless of our doubts, we keep playing out out this unwritten script. We coax each other to continue participating in this collaborative creative writing experiment, conducted from motorcycles and motel rooms. We challenge each other to write deeper and better accounts of our daily experiences.
Sometime next spring, Whiz and I will meet over coffee, a road atlas of the United States and a blank pad of paper. We'll talk about whether we should do another Whizmo & Gizmo adventure, and if so, how we should document it. When the question arises about whether we should continue to be as personal with what we write, I know what my answer will be: Absolutely. Not only have I made new friends and renewed old friendships ... I've found family.
Yesterday we challenged you to be the first to visit Whizmo and/or Gizmo Pass, and send us proof of your visit. Wouldn't you know that one of our faithful readers has already visited both passes, a mere 3.5 hours after we issued the challenge! We received the following photographic "proof" of Lauren Riker's achievement. Hmm, how did she do that?
|Lauren at Whizmo Pass||Lauren at Gizmo Pass|
We promised an appropriate reward to the winner, so I guess we have to cough up. Lauren, you are hereby awarded an all-expenses paid college education. The judges hope that you will continue to develop your Photoshop skills. Now get back to your studies and quit fooling around on the Internet. Your dad expects excellent grades this quarter.
If any of you really visits one of our passes, please let us know.
Grand Finale Contest -- Pitch the Pitchmen -- We Have Our Contestants!
Wow, here we are at the Whizmo & Gizmo Grand Finale Contest. And you, faithful reader, are going to determine the 2002 Honorary Izmo of the Year Award. Below are listed each of the 'Pitch the Pitchmen' submission finalists, in the order they were received here at W&G headquarters in Bend Oregon. Please read each entry, then vote for your choice by clicking the 'Vote' hyperlink under the name of the contestant. It's that simple! Here are the very explicit rules:
Wading River NY
Whizmo & Gizmo Sponsor:
Put the "Mo" in Your Product Sales
You'll thrive, because they drive.
Have your sales gone
flat? Are your customers using Tivo to ignore your commercials?
Are you tired of over-cologned
advertising executives who are afraid of the open air?
Do you need credibility in the heart of America? Do you need a grass roots campaign? Or a 'no roots at all' campaign? Do you need to sell water trucks in the flood season?
Then it's time for you to turbocharge your sales with the twin titans of two-wheeling, Whizmo and Gizmo.
Features to remember:
New York City NY
TOP 10 REASONS TO SPONSOR WHIZMO AND
10. Holding your logo placard gives Whizmo something to do
with his hands in all those photos.
2. Your company logo tattooed here:
1. They make such lovely spokesmodels.
WHIZMO & GIZMO
MO' MOTION 2003 CAMPAIGN
Do your sales merely mosey along? Do your advertising campaigns lack motility? Do you lack momentum in your quest for success?
Then join the Whizmo and Gizmo Mo' Motion 2003 campaign, a veritable mobile modus vivendi. In your behalf, the boys will ride any motorized two wheeled device - motorcycles to motor scooters to mopeds - anywhere from Moline to Mobile, the Mojave to Moclips, or even from the Moselle to Mogadishu. In so doing, the boys will be a colorful mosaic of your logos and brands, their efforts in your behalf shamelessly motivated by cold, hard cash. As pitchmen, they are the most. Let their motive be your motif.
So, get on board, and abandon those old sales campaigns that move like molasses. Take a step up to a new, high-tech sales campaign fueled by motorcycles and modems. Take your sales from the Mohorovicic Discontinuity to the moment of truth! Take a step of which not even Momus - much less your CEO - could complain.
Adopt a new modus operandi; adopt a new mot juste; adopt "Mo' Motion!"
|I think a Lemon Pledge
campaign centered on Led Zeppelin's Lemon Song would boost sales
considerably. The only down side, and there always is a downside, is that
Gizmo will also have to get one of them Yaller 'Stiches. Anyway, the way
this would go is that with the song in the background, the Izmos are
patrolling the highways, looking for visors that need attention. When they
find a fellow motorcyclist in need, they whip out the Lemon Pledge, and
jump into action. They could have bandeleros of small Pledge cans over
their shoulders. Kinda like Zapatic/Teutonic squeegee guys, except no tips
The lyrics for the soundtrack would be as follows, to the tune of The Lemon Song:
THE LEMON (PLEDGE) SONG
(J. O. Zinski)
I should have waxed my visor, long time ago (X2)
I should have sprayed them gnats, down to the station floor
I should have sprayed that Lemon Pledge, at least one mo' time (X2)
'Cause every time I spray that Lemon Pledge, really makes my face shield shine
Some people say that I use Pledge just 'cause it smells so fine
But I use that Lemon Pledge 'cause it's so benign
Went to wax last night, buffed as hard as can be
Waxed that visor, took that visor, ran through a swarm of bees
I should have done mo' waxin', long time ago
Then I wouldn't be without no vision, that's fo' sho'
So spray it, Izmos, till the Pledge runs down the visor (X2)
The way you spray that Lemon Pledge, makes buyin' the large economy size much wiser
I'm gonna leave them bugs, down on the station floo...ooo...ooo...oor.
Now, aren't you glad I didn't do a Beano ad?
For those not familiar with the original lyrics, I provide the following:
The Lemon Song
I should have quit you, long time ago. (X2)
I wouldn't be here, my children, down on this killin' floor.
I should have listened, baby, to my second mind (X2)
Everytime I go away and leave you, darling, you send me the blues way down the line.
Said, people worry I can't keep you satisfied.
Let me tell you baby, you ain't nothin but a two-bit, no-good jive.
Went to sleep last night, worked as hard as I can,
Bring home my money, you take my money, give it to another man.
I should have quit you, baby, such a long time ago.
I wouldn't be here with all my troubles, down on this killing floor.
Squeeze me baby, till the juice runs down my leg. (X2)
The way you squeeze my lemon, I'm gonna fall right out of bed.
I'm gonna leave my children down on this killing floor.
For the first time, limited addition Whizmo and Gizmo sunglasses are available to the public. You've heard about them, you've seen them on the web, but now you too can own your very own pair of Whizmo and Gizmo sunglasses. These are the very same glasses worn by the famous Whizmo and Gizmo on all their adventures. Choose between two styles, the classic Whizmo, or the fetchin' Gizmo. Don't be fooled, while these glasses look like the kind you can buy at many fine eyewear shops around the world, these are much more expensive! Quantities are limited! Order your pair today!
Bay Area CA
In the spirit of Bartles and Jaymes, Whizmo and Gizmo, spokespersons for W&G Spirits Division of W&G Foods, subsidiary of W&G Industries, LLP, bring you the new line of W&G coolers…
Gizmo says: “the thing I hate about California, is, you move out there from NY, the sun dries up all your zits, dressing up is like, wearing *socks*, and they haven’t had a new, good, thirst-quenching refreshing beverage come out in over 15 years! This is why we developed our new line of drinks:
Whizmo’s Mo-Whizzers, and Gizmo’s JizzyJuice. Whiz and Giz can’t agree on whose tastes best, so we’d like your opinion!
Also, try our new line of snack products…
WhizCheese & Giz’s Mo-Nuts
Are you tired of your sales, or lack thereof? Are you looking for a vacation from all the hard, backbreaking, and often thankless work that's involved in selling your product? Don't reach for the aspirin, the 'Izmos are here!
Whizmo and Gizmo, that famous motorcycling pair, will take care of your marketing efforts with the greatest of ease. What better method of gaining visibility than two men riding around with your product logo plastered over them, shamelessly plugging your product in those small towns you never thought you could reach before today? For the low, low price of nightly deliveries of Red Bull, Beano, and Frito Lay Bean Dip to their hotel rooms, Whizmo and Gizmo will turn your brand from gloom to zoom!
This offer only lasts for a limited time, so e-mail the 'Izmo's today!
|W&G will risk life and limb, spend 3 weeks and thousands of their own dollars on a marketing campaign. Why not let it be yours? Yes, reach the affluent but difficult to find "40+ multi-motorcycle owning adventure hounds". Remember, W&G will shamelessly plug anything for a pair of heated socks.|
St. Paul MN
|You're a rider, and you like to ride. You've ridden just about everything there is to ride: the wind, the waves, anything that bucks and kicks, gives you that thrill and makes you feel alive! But you're afraid you've tried all there is, and that perhaps there are no new thrills left on this crazy old planet. Well, I'm here to tell you that you're wrong - there is a vast frontier out there that beckons: until you've ridden the Internet, you haven't really ridden at all. And the way to get on board is with Whizmo and Gizmo. They know how to ride the Internet like nobody else, and they bring that excitement right to your desktop. Feel the bugs in your teeth, the loose gravel under your wheels, and spirit of the open road ahead. You'll ride again, and with a passion you had forgotten was possible. Come Ride the Internet - Ride With Whizmo and Gizmo.|
(start with background music from the theme to Raiders of the
“If you want to run with the big hogs, you gotta get off the porch.”
Yah, we call it like we see it down here in the South, and when you ride with Whizmo and Gizmo, these are two big hogs.
Now, don’t take my word for it, just look at the awesome website they have created to chronicle their adventures, and adventures they are. Just look at what they have encountered during their travels:
(fade out Raiders theme)
Well, there you have it. What potential sponsor could turn down any of these pitches? Pick out your favorite, click on the 'Vote' link under the author's name, and let's find out who best knows how to Pitch The Pitchmen!