15 Best Motorcycle Roads from About.com

15 Best Motorcycle Roads

This just in…
About.com has listed the 15 best motorcycle roads in America. As with all lists of this nature, I doubt anyone would agree that this is a conclusive list or in the correct order. Regardless, in my experience, it’s a good list.

Of the 15 best motorcycle roads listed, I’m fortunate to have traveled the following: #15: WA-129/OR-3, #11: Natchez Trace Mississippi, #7: Cherohala-Skyway in Tennessee, #6: Going to Sun Road in Glacier Park,

#5: Rte 1 in California, #4: US 550 “The Million Dollar Highway” in Colorado, #3: US-129 “Tail of the Dragon” in N. Carolina, #2: Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia, and #1: Bear-Tooth Highway Montana-Wyoming (photo above left is Bear-Tooth Mountain).

A group of my buddies plan to ride #8 California Rte 36 this fall. I will now try to work in #10: CA-2 “Angeles Crest Highway” and maybe #8 CA-36 to the coming fall ride.

 

Like the Jitterbug

Pardon my dust
Pardon my dust

I use Picasa to edit my photos when I’m being lazy and have a lot of photos to do. It is easy editing. I can apply simple filters, crop, add captions on the fly, and finally export to optimized size and quality. It has worked great for me over the years.

I also use GIMP which is an excellent (free under the GNU license) photo editor. I believe it does a much better job of enhancing photos, but more complex and time consuming, so I use it when I have the time or need for better quality.

As a part of the site theme renovation, I needed to re-edit the 2014 “You Can’t Go Back” ride photo galleries. Some of the galleries had 40+ photos and some had 10. I wanted to balance the number of photos in each gallery so, decided to use Picasa for this since my focus was on getting the job done.

First step was to evenly redistribute the 300+ photos for the ride to folders in Picasa. I then began uploading the folders to galleries via the NextGen plugin. The problem I ran into was the captions were not uploading with the photos. Actually, all the metadata/exif data was stripped from the files, but I was only concerned with the captions.

At first, I considered redoing all 300+ captions in WordPress, but that would be time consuming. Instead I spent a few hours researching the problem on Google where I found a couple of vague hints that the problem might be with the plugin itself.

&#*@!
&#*@!

In a last ditch effort, before adding the caption manually, I turned to trial and error. I discovered that if I set NextGen Options to resize the photos, it stripped the metadata. If I resized photos in Picasa and  turned off the resize option in NextGen, the metadata remained intact. Ghah!!! So simple, “…like the jitterbug, it plum evaded me!” (Jimmy Buffet, “God’s Own Drunk”)

 

Climb a Mountain

Pardon my dust
Pardon my dust

Whew!!! I Worked all morning trying to fix tables and lists in the twenty sixteen theme. I actually broke a couple of other items in the process and spent most of my time trying to find and repair the offending code. It took much longer than expected due to, what a friend of mine calls, a rookie mistake.

Continue reading “Climb a Mountain”

Another Update

After about three weeks of working a few hours a day and most of today, I’ve revamped the blog. I’ve upgraded to a responsive theme and to

Pardon my dust
Pardon my dust

WordPress 4.2. I’ve also added some new plugins which will stream line adding galleries of photos and videos.

There is still plenty of work to do but the blog is largely complete. Some links still need to be added but most are included.

Under Adventure in the links above, check out the links to photos and videos for the Trans-Labrador ride. That is what most galleries of photos and videos will look like in the future.

I also have more to do on the color scheme and fonts.

If you see something amiss or have suggestions, leave a comment below.

Update

Pardon My Dust

Pardon my dust
Pardon my dust

After testing the new-responsive theme on my local server, I’m now ready to start implementing it on the “live” blog. Some oddities will occur during the process:

  1. You will see the web site theme change from the original theme to the new theme off and on. That’s me working on the menus.
  2. Initially, only the short rides and small topics will be found under the menus.
  3. The long rides that have several pages of photo galleries and videos will come later.
  4. All posts will be available. You can select posts by category. Categories are often posts by the associated ride.

Still Here

Still updating the site. I successfully created my development site so can now continue posting and continue adding stuff to the live site. So, here goes…

The Bad Teachers have been to the new pub in Kennewick the last two weeks. It’s a Brew Pub so they often run out of whatever brand they had the previous week.

When we ordered beer, at this and the previous visit, the experience were marred by, “We don’t have that brew anymore.” For guys like Norm this was a death knoll.

On the recent visit to this Brew Pub, when George asked, “What should I have next?” Norm answered, “Why don’t you ask for something they have?”

Development Site now Functional

Before embarking on the change of theme and adding menus to the blog I needed to setup a local site on my pc. This was needed in order to prevent breaking the live (online) site while tinkering with the theme, database, and other potentially hazardous items.

The process for creating a localhost (development) site:

  • Installed XAMPP
  • Move all files from my host (Siteground.com) to localhost (my pc)
  • Exported SQL database from live site to localhost
  • WordPress admin worked, Yay!!! I could edit, create, and preview work
  • Problem: local views of posts/pages/photos were still coming from the live site
  • The database was not setup correctly. I tried many solutions but the thing that worked for me was using directions from mcdspot.com and their recommendation of using the WP Migrate DB plugin to migrate my database from the live to localhost site. Worked!!!
  • Now beginning full test of the local site
  • After I insure all is well, I’ll begin working on the new theme again
  • Then, I’ll continue transferring pages from the old web site to blog posts. Lots to do!

Update

First I tried creating a staging subdomain on my host server. That was pretty easy using some good resources online.

A problem immediately arose in that my host followed up the installation with a notice that I was seriously over my storage limit. I had too many photo galleries. I could have merely deleted some galleries, keeping a few to testing, but chose to create a local server instead. That way I wouldn’t have to pick and choose which photo galleries to keep for testing.

I finished creating the development server on one of my local machines and added my WordPress site to it. This was a major undertaking using XAMPP, WordPress 4.41, and transferring my WordPress database to the new server. There was lots of detail in this and it took a week, several hours a day of crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s to get everything working. I do have one small (I hope) hiccup to fix, but it doesn’t affect my testing of the development site itself.

Over the next few days, weeks, or months (depending on luck/skills)…

  1. I will customize the Twenty-Sixteen theme.
  2. Create a new menu system
  3. Add the NextGen Pro Galleries and Albums to the blog
  4. Then, back to moving stuff from the web site to the WordPress blog

Note: I’ve redirected the web site “www.hog-blog.net” domain to the www.hog-blog.net/wordpress subdomain. So, the web site is no longer available. You do not need to do anything but you might notice the “/wordpress” in the URL after entering “hog-blog.net.”

Time for Winter Cleaning

This post should have displayed one of my photo galleries using my upgraded NextGen Plus plugin. As you can plainly see, the only thing here is text. What this tells me is, it’s time to do some major deep cleaning and some dusting of the site.

  1. When the plugin didn’t work in my post a little research indicated that my current theme, which had not been updated by the developer in a couple of years, would not work with the new plugin. I verified this by testing the post with the latest WordPress theme, Twenty-Sixteen. It worked.
  2. The WordPress engine recently received a major overhaul with version 4.41 making it “responsive”. This means the posts, pages, photos, etc. will automagically adjust to various devices (e.g. smart phones, tablets and computers). My old theme is not responsive.
  3. I’ve known it was time to renovate for sometime so this is not a surprise.
  4. Bottom line, I have to adapt all the posts and pages to the new theme AND republish all my photo gallery pages with the correct NextGen Plus code. The latter I can easily do live. The preceding would be more dangerous if done live. I will have to redesign my menus and make sure all plugins play nicely with the new theme. I could actually break my site.
  5. To avoid breaking my live site I need to create a development server on which to test the new theme. Setting the server up will take time. Tweaking the theme to suit my needs will take more time.
  6. Wish me luck.