Category Archives: video

The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride

about 5 years ago, i began riding motorcycles.  it was a small piece of a rather pedestrian rebellion that would begin to reform how i viewed my life and how i wanted to live it moving forward, but i still consider it a very important part of who i have become and what i have accomplished in the years since.

honda cb 550i bought a 40 year old honda bike with the intention of restoring it and converting it into a “cafe racer,” a throwback homage to the classic bikes of the 40s, 50s, and 60s. the steve mcqueen era.  unfortunately it didn’t take long for me to realize that i was in way over my head.  my first crack at working on carbs and rewiring the electrical system in the bike was pretty miserable, and finally after one day going on a short ride to a nearby watering hole with some friends and getting stranded outside the front when the bike wouldn’t start back up again, i decided being part of the “built, not bought” crowd wasn’t something i had the patience or affection for.  i went to my local bike dealer, erico motorsports, and reserved a brand new moto-guzzi v7 racer.  she looked 50 years old and was every bit of apparent “vintage” that i wanted, minus the maintenance or authenticity.  but hell, i didn’t care.  i just wanted to ride.

I have the best morning commute…

A post shared by Miq (@wephilistines) on

eventually, after many mountain rides through the rockies and my first scary car accident (which i somehow walked away from, fortunately), i stumbled into a fun new event on facebook called the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride.  it was an event that had started in australia where guys with bikes like mine (or cooler) would get dressed up in old-school dapper fashion and then go on a ride around town.  it looked incredible and i had to be involved. i found that some guy had volunteered to host, but then mysteriously ghosted everyone weeks before the ride, leaving the facebook group in disarray.  i emailed the foundation organizer in australia asking if there were any details and how to get involved, and he suddenly made me the ride organizer.  i was not ready for this.  my rides usually consisted of me picking a road and seeing where it went.  the pressure of planning a ride for a city like denver, even if it’s only 15 people, was more than i wanted.  i just wanted to dress up, show my bike off, and make some new friends.

nevertheless, i started emailing anyone i could find that had shown interest on the facebook page, and luckily, i found a couple guys who had done an unofficial distinguished gentleman’s ride the year before.  guys who actually knew what they were doing.  they agreed to help me plan the ride and route.

now, 5 years later, what resulted from that ride was something that has greatly strengthened my interest in riding on two wheels, and my local community.  every year in september, richie, spencer, justin, and i get together and plan out a new ride for the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, which has turned into a worldwide phenomenon benefitting research and prevention of men’s prostate cancer, as well as suicide prevention.  last year, denver was a top 15 fundraiser in the world, raising more money than hundreds of other cities in america, europe, and asia.  250 people rode and participated in the denver ride.  it is something that i am very proud to be part of, and this year i am seeking to continue the tradition.  if you feel inclined to donate a couple dollars toward preventing men’s prostate cancer and/or suicide prevention, please do so at my fundraiser page on the DGR website:  https://www.gentlemansride.com/rider/brandonmiq 

and if you’d like to get a taste of what the ride is like, have a look at this video i made of last year’s event:

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the charm of the Adriatic

looking back on my time in croatia, montenegro, and bosnia & herzegovina, it was a strange time, but a wonderful one.  i was traveling with a friend, which i had not had the luxury of for most of my trip, so i was never alone during these weeks.  but before that, i had just begun to grow accustomed to being alone, and was starting to enjoy the introspection that came with it, and the peace of mind that had started to evolve and emerge from my thoughts.  nevertheless, traveling with my friend dave, who was not a seasoned traveler, forced me to take command of situations with more authority and efficiency than i had ever needed to, and exposed to me just how far my development had come since my early days in london, paris and berlin, of following other travelers i had met like a lost puppy.  i was now the veteran, and it took me by surprise.

putting together this video was really fun, not only because i wrote and recorded the sountrack, but also being able to re-live the scenes and memories.  the balkan states are fascinating, co-mingling the hope of the future with the tragedy of the past, there are few places i’ve been where both sides of that story were always nearby, and i still regret not being able to make it further into the balkans to explore all the other interesting countries in the region.  i will return.  someday.

false farewells in rome

this is my final post on italy.  it was one of those places that i knew i needed to go, but wouldn’t be surprised if i found it overrated.  i didn’t.  it surprised me with every new location i explored, and i truly did wish that i could have stayed there a lot longer.  but i will be back.  someday i will explore the southern half, and i’m sure that it will sweep me off my feet just like the northern half did.  i have one more fun little story about rome below, but before you read that, enjoy this little video i put together of my time in italy with my good friend dave.  also, one last special note.  this is the first time one of my videos features music actually written by me (the first half).  let me know what you think…

i woke up the next morning a little hazy and thick in the head.  there was definitely a point in the night where ceasing to drink would have been wise, it was probably right around the time dave had ordered a pitcher of long island iced tea, but we had breezed straight through that and now i was suffering the consequences.

we only had a few hours to kill before our flight to croatia, so i woke dave up and we groggily walked nearby to the colosseum.  we had only passed by it at night previously, and now that i had a little time, i wanted to see inside.  i initially balked at the ticket prices, but once i realized i could also get into the roman forum with the same ticket, i handed over the cash and we sprinted inside, hopeful that we had enough time to see both historical attractions. Continue reading false farewells in rome

morocco: a vicarious view

sorry about the lack of posts lately, i’ve been down in the costa rican jungle with no access to internet.  i promise to get back on the normal posting schedule next week, but to make up for it this week, i’m sharing my morocco video a little early.  if you’ve wondered what it’s like setting foot in this fascinating country, you need look no further than this video here.  enjoy…

happy bday to me: a look back at 31

on monday of this week, my clock turned the grand ol’ age of 32, so i am taking a break from the storytelling for one week to fast-forward to the future (present) and take a visual and mental look back at the last year.  it’s hard for someone introspective like me not to think too much about calendar items like birthdays, but each year i try to think differently about them, and this year, i obviously had a lot to think about.  31 was a big year for me.  those who know me well know that i’d had a pretty rough start to the year, after a couple of failed relationships (one for most of 2013, and then one for the first part of 2014) that hit me really hard back to back, paired with the realization that i had been miserable with my career for years and hadn’t even realized it til it was staring me in the face during a vacation to peru.  i was suddenly in a midlife crisis and a minor depression, and i’m not someone who struggles like that with anything.  and there i was, struggling with everything.

but that was the crux of the issue.  i’d spent so long telling myself Continue reading happy bday to me: a look back at 31

visual feedback: iceland

i’ve been taking a little break in nice, france between posts to rethink a little of my format and content in posts.  over the next couple weeks i’ll be writing a few posts sporadically that talk more about state of mind and observation as opposed to destination-based.  during this break, i had a chance to throw together a video of my time in iceland, where the whole trip started.  have a look and enjoy the amazing scenery.  watch it full screen to get the full “hd experience!”

 

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