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Thursday, 17 December 2009 14:20
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October 2003 - Vol 5, No. 1
Bike Mods-Brakes
Bike Mods-Forward Controls
Constellation News
Humor Me
Road Trip
Star of the Month
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Welcome to the October, 2003, edition of the Star Cruiser, the E-zine for members of the International Star Riders Association. With this issue, I begin my role as the new editor of Star Cruiser. Before I talk a bit about the new features of the rekindled Star Cruiser, allow me to properly introduce myself.

A Little About Me


That's me, sitting atop Backlash, next to my brother, Brent, and father, Raymond. How did I pick the name of my motorcycle? When I introduced the idea of my riding a motorcycle to my workmates, they invariably replied with something like this: "That's your motorcycle? I can't believe you ride a motorcycle." Any motorcycle, but especially a V-Star, with its hoggish appearance. Thus the name for my bike came to me. Backlash:

1. A sudden or violent backward whipping motion.
2. An antagonistic reaction to a trend, development, or event.

The duality is pleasing. She provides both G forces and a counter to my wimpy, bookworm image (for the Walter Mitty side of me). Yes, my two-wheeler screams "midlife crisis" almost as loudly as a cherry-red Miata convertible, but it wasn't recapturing youth that attracted me to motorcycling; it was the promise of camaraderie--with my brother (whom I thank a million times for coming up with the idea), my father, and others who share the mysterious draw.

We three recently traveled from Knoxville, Tennessee, to a border town in Georgia to buy some lottery tickets. In the parking lot of the convenience store, my father nearly bought a paint-relocation kit, dropping his bike and nearly scraping the gas tank on the asphalt. As I searched hysterically for the "undo" button to reverse this circumstance, my brother unsaddled and helped my father to his feet. He was all right, and we found a mirror and brake lever on the ISRA Forum to replace his scratched ones. But the ride home was something of an ordeal, thinking about what had happened. When we finally hit the twisties of the Smokey Mountains, the drone of the motorcycle seduced me once again into the joy of it. Riding behind a puffed-up pickup truck, I laughed at a sticker on the rear windshield, a tangle-haired imp assaulting a Harley medallion by bodily fluid, urinating his way into a sort of satisfaction that I appreciated, a chubby vegetarian riding down the road on his rice burner, eating distance, killing time, taking it in--the speed, the euphoria of control, the elemental revelations of scenery--defying the early distant warning of dark, brooding clouds on the horizon. Quintessential motorcycling.

These days, I can hardly think of anything more enjoyable than spending a few hours with my brother and father, "tearing off chunks of low-end torque," as the Yamaha promotional material so nicely puts it. Or sitting down at the computer and reading posts to the ISRA forum. So I've been thinking: All of this taking compels me to give a little back. And that's why I volunteered to revive the StarCruiser and serve as editor for a while.

The New StarCruiser
I replace someone who has given a lot to the StarCruiser and ISRA in general. Use one of the new search features to verify the contribution of Mark "Gonzo" Jelic to the E-zine. If you search by author using his name, you will discover that he is a prolific contributor, as well as a forward-thinking editor and Webmaster. Thanks to him, we have a solid Web presence. So it is a great honor to receive the torch from him.

Now, let me introduce you to the new features of the StarCruiser E-zine:

- All articles and issues of the StarCruiser have been snuggly fit into a standard format.

- All back issues are now available on every page.

Submissions Are Welcome

As always, I am actively seeking articles for future editions of StarCruiser. Click Here to see submission guidelines for general articles as well as columns, including:

  • Bike Mods: Articles about modifications to improve the function or appearance of a Star.
  • Commentary: A personal experience, observation, or opinion related to motorcycles.
  • Constellation News: Keep readers informed about constellation activities.
  • Humor Me: Jokes or funny anecdotes.
  • Member Profile: Nominate a member to be profiled (you can even nominate yourself!).
  • Original Fiction/Poetry: Any motorcycle-related fiction or poetry.
  • Products and Services: Descriptions of any motorcycle-related products or services.
  • QuickTip: Anything to help members ride better and safer.
  • Road Trip: Narratives about your travels atop your motorcycle.
  • Star of the Month: Nominate a member's motorcycle for Star of the Month (you can even nominate your own motorcycle!)

I look forward to hearing from you.


Brad Connatser
IRSA No. 14726


Last Updated on Friday, 18 December 2009 09:03
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