I can only imagine what motorcycle travel was like 40 years ago, heading north along the Missouri River.
I was riding my 1978 HD superglide with that vibratory shovelhead engine, heading north up River Road, or State Hwy 1804. Years ago, this was a good road by travel standards. A few miles to the east was federal highway 83, a more straight shot from Bismarck to Minot.
On this night, I had left a weekend-long party north of Bismarck. It was dusk and I wasn’t real comfortable with the ability to see deer crossing the road as they do at this time of day. My headlight on that old bike isn’t very powerful.
Still it represents some of the best riding a person could have enjoyed in the 1970’s. It was a warm night, so I didn’t need to wear my leather jacket. That’s it bungeed to my handlebars on the bottom of the image. In the 70’s few bikes had windshields and a rolled up sleeping bag or jacket did a noticeable (though not “good”) job of breaking the wind and deflecting bugs up over the head of the rider. That’s still the way I ride.
I love my old bike and as you know, if you’ve seen any of my more recent entries, I’ve been using it as a model these days. Here in a stubble field, overlooking Hwy 83, north of Bismarck, the bike looks good. I will be sad to part with it, but I actually took this photo for a want ad.
However, it doesn’t have the romantic glow about it that something like this would have. It’s a 33-year-old scooter, so if one puts a little romantic imagination to it, it can look more like this. I wish I’d not put the copyright logo on top of the vignette like I did, but oh well. It makes the vignette look too stark, too well-defined.
So, one more Photoshop alteration just for the heckuva it.
fxe and colored sky
Louis Ousley monument
I tried it yesterday and I like the results, so once again I put the old HD FXE to work as my model — this time in front of the Louis Ousley monument that stands on a hill at Riverview Cemetery outside of Wilton. It was later in the day than the my first go at it posted as April 8 here on North Dakota 365. I used my speedlight to light it up a bit against the darkening evening.
The monument to Louis Ousley states that he was killed February 2, 1918, “somewhere” in France. It proclaims, “He died for democracy.” A document regarding Wilton’s history states, ““Private Ousley of Company “A” North Dakota Infantry, was not only the first Wilton man to give his life in World War I, but was also the first from North Dakota. He died a hero’s death, carrying a stricken officer toward safety under enemy shelling. He was hit near his own lines, and comrades brought both men in. Louis died and the officer survived.”
1978 HD FXE
Sometimes when a model isn’t available, you make do with what ya got. In this case, my 1978 Superglide, an old “shovelhead” was my model. It was later in the day and good contrast and colors were available so the motorcycle would have to do. The backdrop was the Wilton Depot, moved from its spot along the RR tracks to a treed area to become a bit of a museum of a kind.
Later, I thought, hmmm…this model might be good to practice shooting motorcycles, a type of photography I’ve done a bit of and would like to do more. So, I moved the bike downtown in Wilton, up next to one of the buildings on Main Street that was reportedly built nearly 100 years ago with Wilton brick. Notice the mortar squeezing out between the bricks. Hmmm..style and technique have changed.
I like the old motorcycle as a model. I’ll hafta try this trick again.