Ted’s essays

Sunday morning rides … 2023

While my last post was about a long-ago Sunday morning ride, the tradition lives on … for fifty years or more.

As far as days of the regular week go, Sunday is a good one for sharing worshiping the blends of man, machine and roads that sport bikes or touring-sport bikes meld into a cosmic beauty that only the bikers can understand.

Recollecting a rather famous one from the 1970 Northern California somehow triggered finding an ongoing one in my neck of the woods in the here and now.

I joined my first Sunday Morning Breakfast Club (SMBC) ride on July 29th. It was EVERYTHING I HOPED FOR… and more.

I rode quite a bit farther downstream to the starting point than the predominant Missoulians road upstream to the filling station at the intersections of Highways 93 and 12.

I walked around this foreign country a bit checking the tire wear on the other bikes which confirmed I was in good company… as in not all of their tire edges were worn by super-high-performance vigorous cornering, but most of them were like mine… let’s say “not a placid touring group”.

For the non-riders reading this bit, the lean angles represented by my (our) tire wear towards the shoulder of these modern, high-performance tires would make normal folks distinctly uncomfortable. For us, however, it is part of the ballet, the slalom, the joy, the bit of riding skill that keeps us attentive to riding safely … and rapidly in an ever-changing environment.

It also says that very few four-wheeled vehicles could maintain our pace when the road becomes curvy. We pass everything we meet.

We also quite safely exceed limits and pace of normal folks and, thanks to the performance of our chosen steeds, can overtake in very short straightaways those who are operating touring cars or slower. Those are some of the gifts motorcycles deliver to their jockeys.

The real meditative joy of motorcycling through winding roads cannot be explained. Only motorcyclists can understand. And that rather rare breed share a cosmic connection inspiring an acknowledging wave as we pass fellow bikers on the two-lanes.

While I vowed at the outset to run the trailer position all the way, I found myself overtaking a few who were falling behind the pack and running a skosh slower than I preferred.

As I followed other dismounted riders into the Lochsa Lodge dining room, I perched in a spot at the end of a lightly occupied table, snagged a cuppa Joe and settled in. One of the riders came over and invited me to an open seat at their table.

That scored major points for me – and the guys around me went quite a bit further to include me in their breakfast conversation… More points for the group.

After breakfast the bikers seemed to be in no hurry to depart, but my promised visit to a friends house and the baking sun on my riding gear inspired me to slide on away, mount my stead and head back over the pass.

Then I stopped at where the resort road met Highway 12 for a photograph to memorialize my first Sunday Morning Ride. It took a few minutes to park, dismount, extract my camera and move into position for the photo I wanted.

Now this rather rare community of motorcyclists REALLY IMPRESSED ME. Not a single biker went by the new guy who just joined their outing TODAY without stopping to insure I was all right and not in need of any assistance!

Now THAT is known as community.

I think I know where most of my summer Sunday mornings will be spent, and with whom.

I will get to know this elite group of people better and improve my motorcycle riding skills… while having a wonderful time in the here-and-now with no concerns creeping into the space fully occupied by the joy of motorcycle riding con brio.

Even a half day of true liberty every week beats the heck out of none.


This website is a gift to my community from a pensioner dedicating a bit of his life attempting to help preserve humanity, integrity, honor and liberty – a world under attack. If I help one person find our side of the rampart, or help the resolve of one who found it via another path, my time and money have been well spent.

You can show your gratitude and support via credit card, Paypal or, if you can figure out how, send a tip my way in meat space.

Thank you, Ted Dunlap