Ridin’ For Harambe, Part 23

Alright, let’s get this party started again. And what better way to light the flame once more than to feature one of my all-time favorite bikes: the Honda CBR1100XX Super Blackbird. Frequent readers of this site know that I have long harbored a weakness for the Yamato class of sportbikes; as a teenager I wanted an FJ1200 so badly that I put FJ1200 stickers on my BMX bike, and in my twenties I lusted for a Kawasaki ZX-11. I am now the owner of the final-boss cruise missile, the Kawasaki ZX-14R, but as recently as last October I was trying to purchase a decent example of the Super Blackbird.

Jeff has a “Dos Equis” Honda that’s been in his fleet for seven years. But as you’ll see below, it’s no longer his favorite way in which to pay tribute to The Gorilla Who Knew Too Much.

(If you have a bike that you’d like to see featured here, send it to askjack@calamarco.com.)

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“Billy,” by W. Christian “Mental” Ward

My good friend and racing teammate, W. Christian “Mental” Ward, sent this to me back when we were running “Sunday Stories” for a bit at the beginning of the year at TTAC. Sadly, the plug was pulled on fiction before I got a chance to run this. So, here it is at Riverside Green. Enjoy!


Billy was a lot to take. Borderline ADHD, beyond hi-strung and often considered simple. Over the years he had earned the nickname “11,” A reference to the Spinal Tap movie. Billy never underdid anything.

It’s not that he was rude, or mean or even unpleasant. It’s just that he was loud, fast and always in motion.

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In The Blood

John Mayer’s “The Search For Everything” has been released in its entirety. This is probably the standout track. Neither musically complicated nor particularly suited for Mayer’s range, it is nonetheless likely to stir the strongest emotions in its listeners. Lyrics and thoughts below.

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In The Year 2017, Thanks To Social Media, United Gets Crucified For Being Right

We’ve all seen the video countless times, right? Jackbooted thugs pulling a poor doctor out of his seat on a United flight from Chicago to Louisville, bloodying his face along the way, just because United needed to get some pilots to a flight in the Bluegrass. The resulting social media uproar, much of it presumably conducted by people who only take one flight a year (and that’s on Allegiant or Spirit—final destination: Las Vegas), ended up costing United 4 percent of its company value, or a whopping $770 million. Ouch. Warren Buffett personally lost $52M as a result of the decline. (This is the same market which values Tesla as being worth more than Ford.)

Of course, it’s completely obvious to anybody with half a brain who was in the wrong here—and it’s not United.

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1977 Chrysler New Yorker – I Once Had A Car, It Was Big As A Whale…

(Note: Another post by my friend Carmine -TK) In their 1989 hit Love Shack, Fred Schneider of the B-52’s sings about having “a car as big as a whale…a Chrysler, it seats about 20.” Well, Fred, I had a Chrysler that could seat about six…and it just might have been the best and cheapest beater I ever owned.

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Okay, So We Didn’t Podcast, But We Did Make Videos!

The New York International Auto Show is a funny thing. You can run into the same people twenty times in a day, and also go the entire show without running into a friend at all (Hi, Alex!). I attended about half a dozen parties, saw a few presentations on the show floor, and walked about 20,000 steps per day. However, what I did NOT do was see my dear brother very much. So the much ballyhooed second edition of the Barkcast didn’t happen.

But I did make a few videos with my friends, the Boost Brothers. Above is the first of them, which briefly discusses the Dodge Hellcat and Demon but does not show my awesome blue Allen Edmonds Neumoks that I was wearing for the shoot. Alas. You should watch it anyway. In the days to come, we’ll also have videos about the Acura TLX and NSX, the Honda Civic Type R, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, and the entire Ford Performance lineup. Check it out!


1990 Cadillac Coupe de Ville – Live for Today!

(Note: This was written up by a friend of mine, Tom Conti. As he only had a couple of pictures of the subject car (the navy blue Cadillac), I went into ‘the vault’ and found some pictures I took of a similar Coupe de Ville, but in white. -TK) Sometimes, you just need to go for it. I am so happy that my Dad was able to fulfill the last item on his bucket list – owning a Cadillac. He had always wanted to own a Caddy before he died and he finally did. The year was 1989, December to be exact. Dad was in poor health, being diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and only six months to live. He owned an ’87 Maxima at the time that he was never really happy with. “It rides too rough” or “it is just too small” were the constant complaints that my Mom and I would get. The latest Motor Trend issue had a very positive write-up on the new Caddies, so of course I had to make it my job to see that Dad read that article. Did I have influence on this purchase? You bet I did!


 1990 Cadillac Fleetwood coupe

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Who Wore It Worst?

2017 Ram 1500 Sublime Sport debuts at New York Auto Show (PRNewsfoto/FCA US LLC)

Now this is a truck! Just what I’ve always wanted: a lime-green car-hauler and BMX-toter and mountain-climbing mountain-bike carrier. Shame it costs as much as it does and it’s not likely to stick around long enough to get the usual discounts. I’d be a fool to spend $45k on this when I can get the equivalent Chevrolet in a boring-ass color like Titanium Grey Silver Slate for ten grand less. It’s also kind of insulting that they charge MORE for the Sublime Sport than they charge for the Blue Rebel. I’m pretty sure the Rebel has more content.

I’m going to start a trend here. I’m going to post a link straight to the press release. That is all the information that anybody has on this truck. But if you find a report on the Sublime RAM where the writer either makes shit up or rephrases the press release in such a way as to make his report manifestly less useful than the PR script on which is it based, post in the comments and we will make fun of that person.

Spotter’s Guide To The April/May Issue Of CityScene Columbus Magazine

My long-time readers know that I can be very protective, even belligerent, when it comes to discussing the merits of an Ohio lifestyle. I was transplanted to the Midwest as a tween-ager and although I despised it in the early years I have come to believe that central Ohio is a good place to live and work. Twenty years’ worth of traveling the country and (occasionally) the world has only served to confirm me in this bigoted, insular Stockholm-syndrome opinion.

With that said, there are a few things I continue to truly hate about Ohio, and the cover of the newest CityScene magazine is a veritable tableau of them. This fellow knew that he was going to be photographed for a piece spotlighting various Columbus-area guitar collectors. He figured that this was the right time for an Ohio State golf visor, a Serbian-issue pullover, and the cheapest watch you can get off QVC between two and three in the morning. I spend much of my life surrounded by people exactly like this. “Male basic bitches” is what Mrs. Baruth calls them, and I have to agree. There is no time in your life when it’s a good idea to advertise that you went to “THE Ohio State University”, although I will concede my younger brother surely holds a different opinion.

Rest assured, however, that I have not chosen to spotlight this fine publication merely so I could express my disappointment with the cover.

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