Photos of readers

We have but two readers left in the tank, so please send in your contribution, adhering to the style of this feature (2 photos max, preferably but not necessarily of you doing something in lockdown, and a caption).

The Reader of the Day is Steve Rieber, whose wife, Gayle, will feature in tomorrow’s post. I’m surprised at how many bikers we have in this crowd!

Here is a pic of Gayle and I on one of our many motorcycle adventures. We ride all over the eastern sea coast, but mainly in New England. This is us on our 2016 Kawasaki Voyager 1700, on the NC/TN road US 129 known as “The Dragon”, the most traveled motorcycle road in the country.

Also pictured is me making friends in the “Cat Kingdom” section of Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand. We also visited a couple of cat cafes in Chiang Mai, which combined our love of cats with our appreciation for a good cappuccino.



  1. rickflick
    Posted July 7, 2020 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    I don’t see many “toys” for the cats. But, I suppose the tourists are the toys.

  2. Ken Kukec
    Posted July 7, 2020 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    I’m surprised at how many bikers we have in this crowd!

    Buncha outlaw “one-percenters” if ever such I saw. Maybe they can start a gang, with vests and patches and colors of their own. “Hell’s WEITers” would work.

    • Mark R.
      Posted July 7, 2020 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      Or “AtheWEITs”…

    • phoffman56
      Posted July 7, 2020 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

      “I’m surprised at how many bikers we have in this crowd!”

      Do I count, with my electric bike, purchased for hip replacement recovery? I really can get going on that you know, right up all the way to 20 m.p.h.! As soon as you hit the equivalent 32 k.p.h., the damn battery won’t even help you to get it higher by pedalling like a maniac.

      Actually I think that’s a deliberate design, to AVOID being called a motorbike. So no licence, no insurance.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted July 7, 2020 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

        Hell, phoffman56, with a badass ride like that, you could be the Sonny Barger of the gang. 🙂

        • phoffman56
          Posted July 7, 2020 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

          Barger sounds okay, but it reminded me of a Prof. Lee Berger, and a major discovery of humanoid remains in South Africa in the past decade. There’s a terrific Nova 2 hour movie on that called “Dawn of Humanity”:

          You might be wondering: this actually has a (hard-case looking) biker, a major mover in the story, who scoured the countryside on his Harley, and also did caving I think. IIRC that guy was the one who actually was the initial discoverer of this major find. He seemed to be on a retainer from the academics at UWitwatersrand, paleo-anthropologists I think they are called.

          In the end they needed small (including small enough in the breasts) women from all over the world, with very high abilities in that area, because it was such a tight squeeze getting through to the main part of the cave where most of these skeletons were found. Also not without danger I think. These women scientists were perhaps the main heroes of the story, carefully recovering stuff that was the right stuff, and bringing it up.

          Anyway it does have a biker.

          I’d be interested to hear any people here who know much more about this than me, of whom there are plenty I’m sure, about what has subsequently ensued since discovery about 5 years ago I think.

          • darrelle
            Posted July 8, 2020 at 6:27 am | Permalink

            Thanks for the recommendation. I’ll definitely be giving that a view.

  3. Randall Schenck
    Posted July 7, 2020 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    A couple of those cats in there look like our Emma. My rich neighbor has a big motorcycle, one of those Harley’s I think. Mostly it is in the garage.

    • enl
      Posted July 7, 2020 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

      “My rich neighbor has a big motorcycle, one of those Harley’s I think. Mostly it is in the garage”

      Not rich, but have had two (owned the second). First was a junkyard build by a friend of mine in college. Rode it all winter north of Syracuse while he was in Europe. Learned a lot about fixing a Harley with that bike.

      The knowledge came in handy when I bought my own in the early 1990’s. Rode the crap out of that (rolled the odometer and put another 40K miles on it before it came off the road in 2008)

      Had a bunch of other bikes. Loved the Honda’s. Can’t ride safely anymore. Too many injuries- none bike related.

      • stephen rieber
        Posted July 7, 2020 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

        ENK – Looking forward, we are testing out the Spyder, 3 wheels, lots of storage. hoping to get another 25-20 yrs out of my passion for 2 wheels but it’s good to know there are options.

        • stephen rieber
          Posted July 7, 2020 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

          sorry – enl

  4. Mark R.
    Posted July 7, 2020 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    Driving the Dragon looks like a blast.

    Those cats have lots of roaming room from the looks of it. Nice hardwood floor…could double as a basketball court.

    • stephen rieber
      Posted July 7, 2020 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

      The Dragon is 20 – 22 minutes of intense riding pleasure. We head down there, from Long Island, at least every 2 years but plan on retiring close by.
      The whole area around Asheville NC, Robbinsville, NC etc is a motorcyclist dream.

  5. stephen rieber
    Posted July 7, 2020 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    The Cat Kingdom is a HUGE area for the number of cats they have rescued. It is also the 2nd such area in Elephant Nature Park.
    Cats can roam freely, 2 floors indoors and dozens of hammocks,gardens,towers and perches to explore outdoors. ENP has a staff of about 6-8 Veterinarians who are responsible for a very thorough health regimen We had the pleasure of celebrating Buddhist New Year with one of them and she answered a million questions for us about the dog and cat care as well as the Elephant care. Despite there being over 500 cats in 2 different protected areas there are also many roaming freely on the 280 acres. All are spayed or neutered, vaccinated and extremely clean. Volunteers do a lot of the work and day to day maintenance. Keep in mind the Thai people have a different relationship with pets than Americans do, and the average person cannot afford the care we tend to provide our pets. ENP is humane, ethical and the focus is on the well being of the animals in its care.

  6. Posted July 7, 2020 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    Very interesting, thanks!

  7. Posted July 7, 2020 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    “Here is a pic of Gayle and I on one of our many motorcycle adventures…”

    Shouldn’t it be “Gayle and me”? Not trying to be a pedant, but genuinely asking because I always get this wrong myself.

    • ritaprangle
      Posted July 8, 2020 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      Yes, it should be “Gayle and me”.

      • stephen rieber
        Posted July 9, 2020 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

        thanks! for me it’s “as long as we’re together”

  8. darrelle
    Posted July 8, 2020 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    That is a wonderful part of the country to ride in. So many amazing routes to ride. Keep the rubber side down!

    • stephen rieber
      Posted July 9, 2020 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      I agree! thanks and keep the shiny side up yerself!

    • stephen rieber
      Posted July 9, 2020 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      I agree and thanks! keep the shiny side up yerself!

  9. ritaprangle
    Posted July 8, 2020 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    I hate the noise of motorcycles. I used to enjoy driving with my window down on nice days, but can’t do that anymore, thanks to the bikers.

  10. phoffman56
    Posted July 8, 2020 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    While some bikers are still reading this, I have a question.

    I imagine two riders usually do it with one slightly behind, but also to the side, and that’s a good safety move, 2 headlights etc. Also to the side so not breathing in carbon monoxide, etc. from the other. But I’ve never understood the attraction of a big bunch all riding as a group. Unless I was leading or nearly and off to the side, it seems like it would be pretty awful stuff getting into the lungs, and the ears in terms of noise too.

    Is that incorrect for some reason I do not appreciate?

    • stephen rieber
      Posted July 9, 2020 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      phoffman 56
      I am the originator of an email based riding group – not a club or gang, just a group of friends that rides together often. I lead as many as 30 rides a year, some are day rides and others are anywhere from 3-11 days.
      Gayle and me do enjoy heading out, just the 2 of us, very much but… there is something about riding in a group that has an attraction all it’s own. Leading rides, I am designing routes, maintaining group integrity and above all keeping everyone safe.
      I am coordinating with the 2nd rider (shotgun) and the last rider (tailgun) who have responsibilities of their own. Pulling off a safe, smooth, scenic ride is a bit of work but so worth it. Riders in the group appreciate a well planned and executed ride and anyone with experience can tell the difference when those standards are met.
      been doing this for about 20 years now with groups of 3 riders up to 22. from Long Island, NY to Asheville, to Sturgis, to Montreal, to Miami.
      Also – a good passenger is not just added weight. Gayle has her own responsibilities and as a very experienced travel companion brings her own set of skills to the ride. Did I answer your question?

      • phoffman56
        Posted July 9, 2020 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for the reply.

        I had a department mate awhile back who went out with groups, with her husband (both 2 bikes and later riding behind on one). But we never seemed to click in terms of explaining about the safety, the fumes or not, etc..

        I do nordic ski racing. I did some golf as a teenager and my late mum and dad used to ask when I’d get back to it. My answer was always that, once too old to race, I’d buy a Harley or something. Once too old for that, then golf. I got a hip replaced Feb., lucky timing with covid. High hopes to race again this winter, but who knows. Maybe time for a real motorcycle, not just that electric bike for hip recovery.

  11. Sleaze Weazel
    Posted July 8, 2020 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Dear Ceiling cat: I would like to submit something pertinent and funny to “photos of readers”, but have no idea how to do so?

    • Posted July 8, 2020 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

      Just Google Jerry Coyne University of Chicago, which will take you to my work email address. That’s where you send stuff. Be sure to adhere to the format: no more than two photos, some captions, etc.

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