It’s better in the wind. Still.


A couple three years or so back I put up this post, most of which is repeated below. I figure it needs repeating. Maybe not for you, but for me.

It is a beautiful spring day here in New Hampshire, Sunday in fact, and if all were right with the world I’d be out on my motorbike.

But for reasons too boring to bore you with, I’m not and it is still nestled away at my pal David’s house.

So, sitting here tapping away at the computer, I got to daydreaming. That got me opening this post and watching the videos in it. Yep, they still stand up well. I even added a couple extra at the end.

Maybe some of you will join me in daydreaming and enjoy it again. If you are new around here, maybe you’ll get to see it for the first time.

Anyway, here’s how it originally ran. Mostly, anyway:

Fall, 2013

As mentioned in my last post my travels to Ecuador served to shift my priorities to Susegar, that wonderful state of taking it easy. Of course, it also has meant that I’ve hardly posted here at all.

To my considerable amazement this short fall has generated concern and irritation on the part of some of my readers, and who knew I had any of those at all? But writing is hard work and besides I’ve had more important things to do.  Like riding my motorbike: 

Triumph Scrambler

**just like mine except mine is more beat up than this nice new one**

We still have beautiful weather around here, but an increasing chill is in the air.  Winter closes in.  My dog insists on walks and my motorbike insists on rides.  Time is short and cold dark days are coming.  Plenty of time to write blog entries then. If you ride this all likely makes sense to you.  If not, well maybe this will help:

It’s Better in the Wind

Even if you don’t care about motorcycles, it’s 15 and a half minutes well spent for the sound track alone.

(I have it playing as I write)

New edit:

(This time, too!)

“It doesn’t take very much and you don’t have to go very far to put yourself out of your norm.” Damn, I love this video. 

This short film was created by Scott Toepfer and, as much as anything I’ve seen, it captures the sheer joy of motorbiking.  Doesn’t hurt that most of the bikes in it are Triumphs like mine.  Scott and his pals have good taste.

Here’s a still from his website as further proof of good taste

Watching it, I realize that my motorbike is also a time machine.  Every moment on it I am again twenty-something and full of beans.

More videos:

Another cool short film with a very odd song for the road.   It might grow on you.  It did on me.

  Hey little motorcycle girl

Here’s another I just found.  Wicked cool riding on a Scrambler just like mine:

From Track to Dirt to Date

Starts slow but worth the short wait.  Check out the dismount about 3/4 of the way in.

This one’s a bit more mellow:


And this is not mellow at all:

Mind Party with Johnny Lewis @ Wiggins Tree Farm

This one, courtesy of Vik in the comments below, is too funny (and true!) and makes me wish I was 50 again:

Mid-life crisis philosophy & motorbike riding

**Important FI message at ~4:00**

Don’t own one? You could always steal one:

From the 1968 movie “If”

While it drifts away from the riding, at ~5:41 one of my favorite pieces of music starts. At ~8:10, one of my favorite motorbike scenes of all time.

Ok, ready?

First, we go to India and build a Royal Enfield:

Then we ride it up into the Himalayas:


And if motorbikes aren’t your thing, or even if they are, this book of illustrated adventures is great for jump-starting your daydreams:

     I was arrested twice.

Once for reckless parking and once for grave digging.

I was guilty of both.

I like her work so much, I asked Trisha Ray to create the original illustration that graces the cover of my book. Her own book is filled with her wonderful water-colors; each with a wonderfully well told story behind it. There are even pictures of and stories about me in it.

Shhhh. Don’t tell anybody.


You wanna have an advance peek at the cover of my book? With big-time, major league kudos to Carol who designed it, here you go:

SPW cover final

It should be out in mid-June!

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Important Resources

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  • NewRetirement offers cool tools to help guide you in answering the question: Do I have enough money to retire? And getting started is free. Sign up and you will be offered two paths into their retirement planner. I was also on their podcast and you can check that out here:Video version, Podcast version.
  • Tuft & Needle (T&N) helps me sleep at night. They are a very cool company with a great product. Here’s my review of what we are currently sleeping on: Our Walnut Frame and Mint Mattress.


  1. Trisha says

    I’m totally honored!

    And yes, when anyone says, let’s go – just ignore the inertia – and GO!
    Keeps you flexible, open and keeps life (very) interesting.

  2. kyle says

    Super excited for your book, Jim. I’m sure it’s going to be filled to the brim with useful knowledge about achieving F.I. I just sent my parents your blog to read as well.
    P.S. Get back on your motorbike soon! I just did my 18k service yesterday on my BMW and it’s humming right along on California roads 🙂 If you are ever in the Bay let me know, I have a spare bike you can ride.

  3. DIY Money Guy says

    Good, fun post to read. I have never been into motorcycles much, but my equivalent peaceful bliss is floating down a river in my canoe. Thank you for sharing the post and reminding me to make time for the important stuff in life – relaxing and taking in the beautiful world around us! Now that it is warm enough outside, it is time for me to put some canoe trips on the ol’ calendar. Looking forward to reading your book. Safe travels!

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Thanks DIY MG, and thanks for noting the post wasn’t just about motorbikes!

      It has been a long time, but I’ve done just enough canoeing to know how wonderful a sensation it is.

      This afternoon I was walking the dog down by the river and paused to watch some guys in kayaks playing in the rapids. Never done that, but it sure looks like fun!

  4. Steve m says

    Jim, New to your blog and have to say I Love your portrayal of Goodman on ones “f__ck You” money! Not into bikes but I have a sweet 64 Pontiac lemans ragtop that I Love riding in the wind also and need to make more time to do so! Thanks for reminder. Life is very short. Just finished a 25 mile bike ride for brain tumor research in memory of a friend Don Guidoboni, who lost his life at age 57 last year. Dons passion was golf and he’d play twice a day, 7 days a week if he could. He didn’t know he’d be gone so soon and I am sure he is glad, as we are, that he got to do as much of his passion as possible while here on earth.
    From a financial note, tonight 60 minutes had a story about Duke Univ. getting fast track to use polio virus to fight brain tumors. My biggest investment is in a small bio called Advaxis(adxs) which uses listeria virus to kill breast and cervical cancer. If it works as well as the polio virus then next months Asco conference should bring results leading to a major increase in share price from current $7to over $25 and All while doing something good that allows us to peruse our passions for as long as possible! Ride On!

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Thanks, Steve…

      That video has gotten a great response and it was a blast to do.

      Condolences on the passing of your friend Don. As it happens, I also lost a dear friend last year, and also at age 57. Far, far too young.

      Sobering reminder, our time is short and uncertain. All the more reason for bikes and ragtops.

  5. FiveSigmas says

    I don’t (motor-) cycle myself, but watching the first link I can totally see the appeal. It reminded me of this quote from Robert Pirsig:

    “In a car you’re always in a compartment, and because you’re used to it you don’t realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV. You’re a passive observer and it is all moving by you boringly in a frame.

    On a cycle the frame is gone. You’re completely in contact with it all. You’re in the scene, not just watching it anymore, and the sense of presence is overwhelming.”

    Life is too short* — enjoy your time out there!

    BTW: Love the book cover.

    * But please don’t risk making it shorter by standing on your bike — yikes!

    • jlcollinsnh says

      These days standing upright on solid ground is challenge enough.

      Glad you love the cover. So do I, and I can say that without sounding arrogant as the credit is all Carol’s and Trish’s. 🙂

  6. AJ says

    Will the book be on amazon or purchase through this site? Can you pre-order?

    Thanks, looking forward to book.

  7. The Bob's says

    Great cover on the new book. My curiosity is piqued and I look forward to getting a copy and reading. Going to hold you to that autograph thing. 🙂

    My cousin who’s just starting out may get a copy as well.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      I don’t actually remember when I dropped that first hint. Just that I was way too optimistic about when it would be out. 🙂

  8. Karina says

    So glad to hear the book (hopefully) will be out just in time for graduation season! I’m thinking of starting a new tradition in my gift giving: your book with a hair trimmer (UMGD) for my guy relatives but I’m not sure what the corresponding gift for the gals would be. Anyone have suggestions?

  9. Mr. PIE says

    Bicycle riding on a windy day yesterday in the Northeast with my 7 year old was a reminder on how kids get great joy in the simple outdoor stuff. And the big kid too!

    The reminder of that joy in tearing up the cul-de sacs doesn’t get old.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Sounds fun.

      It has been, as they say in these parts, wicked windy these past couple of days. 🙂

  10. Shawn Jutras says

    I am so excited to read your book! I have not bought a book in years, but the librarians know who I am. But I will buy your book! I consumed your blog in about two weeks and always looking for new information as well as a chance to review to see if I missed anything. I am an avid motorcyclist and a fellow NH resident. I appreciate the knowledge you have shared over the years. Maybe some day we could plan a ride here in our beautiful state and grab lunch. Great interview with Hahna on Master Your Money Summit as well. And the remake of “F you money”!!! Are you kidding me?! That is the best thing I have seen on the internet in years, maybe ever!

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hi Shaun…

      Thanks for the very kind words. Great to hear it has all resonated so strongly.

      It would be fun to meet up. What do you ride?

      • Shawn Jutras says

        I have a 2011 Harley Road Glide that I bought before my journey to FI. I have debated selling it to add to my investments and buy a used sport touring bike, but riding has always been my passion and I do not have a loan for it. I have had countless bikes from most of the major manufacturers (no Triumph’s yet, but some of those videos have me day dreaming of an after retirement purchase.) I have had a ton of Japanese sport bikes, some cruisers and this one Harley.

        I live in Manchester and would certainly love to meet up with you. Maybe we could plan the Jim Collin’s book signing tour and go from location to location on bikes! Then your fans could join on their local leg of the tour on their bikes and we can make “F You $” shirts and then… Sorry, I got carried away there for a minute. I think a nice local ride and lunch would be nice.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Thanks Chris!

      By the way, I’ve been meaning to ask you if you’d be interested in writing a post reviewing the book. If so, let me know and I’ll send you the advance manuscript.

  11. SamK says

    Congrats on being so close to releasing your book. Have learned a great amount from you and have shared it with my college age nephews ????????

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Thanks Sam…

      I’m really looking forward to its release.

      Thanks, too, for passing on the blog. What did your nephews think?

  12. Rahul says

    Ah that Enfield image brought back the memories from my teenage years(I’m 40 now) in India. I use to ride a 500cc Enfield. A behemoth among the 100cc fleas that swarm around.It wasn’t very popular than and mostly used by the milkmen. Here is the one(not me )

    And the kick back from the starter kick was painful. But once you get that beast going. it was a power trip. Exhilarating!!

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hi Rahul…

      Great picture!

      My guess is you also didn’t have the huge milk cans attached to yours?

      When I was traveling in India, it always amazed me what was carried on motor bikes. No limit to people’s resourcefulness!

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Thanks Vicki!!!

      As I’m not personally active on social media (I know, I know!:) I really appricate it when people tweet and FB my posts!

      BTW, just sent you a PM.

  13. Jon says

    Really enjoyed the videos. I have been thinking of getting a bike now that I’m out on the West Coast where it’d be nice to ride the coast.

    Any recommendations for someone just starting out? I don’t want to get something too small.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hi Jon…

      If this is your first bike, my recommendation would be to get something small and used.

      Small because it will be easier to handle and to learn on. Nothing looks more ridiculous and dangerous than an obviously inexperienced rider on a big bike. Plus, as the saying goes, it is more fun to ride fast on a small bike than slow on a powerful one.

      Used because you might not own it long and are very likely to drop it once or twice.

      The biggest mistake a new rider can make is to buy a large, new bike. Wait till you have some seasoning under your belt. You’ll learn more safely and make a better choice when the time comes.

      Oh, and be sure to take a rider training course! I can’t afford to lose any readers! 😉

  14. Robert says

    Well written! A very honest view of a motorcycle enthusiast. I can relate to it so well.
    I think for me it was when my father took me with him on my first motorcycle ride. Can never forget the feel of the wind!

  15. Jeffrey Parker says

    We’re thinking of moving from Greenville, SC to NH, maybe Monroe or Hebron as they seem to have very low property tax rates, am I missing anything? What area are you in and why?

    Thanks for your thoughts!


    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hi Jeff,

      I am unfamiliar with Monroe or Hebron, however overall RE taxes in NH tend to be very high overall. One of the highest RE tax states of all, in fact.

      However, there is no sales or income tax.

      If I wanted a large home or lots of property, I’d look elsewhere. If I had a high income and intended to own a modest home, NH is great!

      Of course, you’ll get to experience a bit more winter here than in SC. 😉

      • Jeffrey Parker says

        Thanks for the quick response.

        When I said “very low property taxes” for Hebron and Monroe that was a relative term. We pay about $1,700 per year on a $300,000 house here, so when I saw the rates varying from about $8.50 per $1,000 to over $40.00 per $1,000 depending on “township/city” I started checking a little closer. Since we don’t need to worry about quality of schools (except indirectly as having smart or ignorant graduates), we looked for towns with limited government services; especially schools.

        What could skew these rates is how they value real estate itself. The low rate/$1,000 could have a higher valuation and conversely for the higher one. I guess we’ll just have to ask a bunch of questions of town hall personnel when we come through next May on a sightseeing, information trip.

        You might be interested to know that what got me interested was the youtube video “101 Reasons to Move to New Hampshire.” Loved it!!

        But you are right about the weather issue and snowfall. My wife is from North Carolina so it is a foreign concept. I am from Northern Ohio originally so I have a better feel for what to expect although it’s been a while. I hope it’s not like child birth, where women seem to forget the downside issues after a few months!

        If there was a way to preserve the snow and send it South during the summer for a 24 hour experience, I think we could get rich!

        Thanks again for your response!

        Best wishes,


      • jlcollinsnh says

        We spent 18 years in the Cleveland area and the winters here in NH are similar, with one huge exception: NH gets sunshine in winter rather than four months of steel grey skies.

        There is something rather cool (pun!) about a bright, sunny, bitter cold day. 🙂

        How did you zero in on Hebron and Monroe?

        • Jeffrey Parker says

          That is an important difference. Growing up in North Canton, OH I thought everyone had steel gray skies until I went off to Denison University, east of Columbus, OH and discovered that the “lake effect” caused a huge difference in amount of sunshine.

          To answer your question, I was looking for:

          (1) Small town
          (2) Close to larger town
          (3) Reasonably close and assessable to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center
          (4) Good internet access / cell phone coverage
          (5) Land reasonably priced
          (6) Property taxes less than $11/$1,000 if possible
          (7) A slew of intangibles on a case-by-case basis

          Having said that, once we’re in the area looking around, the possibilities might get resorted.

          Here’s the spreadsheet listing I’m working from (2015 tax rates) … purple highlighted rows are “best” prospects so far. Again, real experience may change all this thinking.

          Let me know what you think and if you have difficulty seeing the spreadsheet.

          Thanks again for your interest,


        • jlcollinsnh says

          Cool spreadsheet!

          Reach out next spring when you’re plans come together and we’ll meet for lunch or dinner if you’d like.

          Enjoy the search!

          • Jeffrey Parker says

            That would be wonderful, Jim.

            We are usually in Ohio for a conference and my father’s birthday the week of May 8th so we’d most likely drive from there to Hanover, NH on Friday, May 12th and start a swing up to Monroe and over to Littleton. Then go from there down to Plymouth, over to Hebron, then to Bridgewater, then over to Freedom (outlier) and then to New London and maybe Newport. That would be during the week of May 15th. We may actually go back to Hanover before exiting NH and heading home.

            We are unlikely to go much further south unless we need to check in with some folks in Concord for governmental advice, so depending on where you are, that may be either convenient or inconvenient?

            Then we’re planning on heading back to Ohio so we can swing through there to see my sister in Springfield, returning to Greenville, SC through the Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina route.

            I’ll keep you posted and we’ll try to make it work! I think that is a great idea.

            Best wishes until then,


  16. Jone says


    I finally went and did it. I owned a motorcycle a couple of decades ago and have missed it many times over the years. I reached “reasonably FI” some years ago and have always wanted another motorcycle. I kept rationalizing myself out of the purchase primarily due to financial considerations.

    After reading this article, looking at the going price for used bikes, and looking at my Vanguard statements, I finally had to admit could go buy whatever motorcycle I wanted for cash without denting my balance sheet. Thus started the bike research. The joy of being FI are the choices you give yourself. I have truly enjoyed the past several weekends.

    PA has a free MSF course. Signed up and took that. Great course. Kept researching bikes and going to “kick tires” in the meanwhile. I’ve probably swung my leg over 50 bikes and ridden a dozen or so over the past few months. Almost bought a 650 a month or so ago but that deal fell through due to the seller being a nut case.

    Two weeks ago I took my first ride on a Moto Guzzi and fell in love within the first mile. I am now the proud owner of a 2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Stone found on Craigslist. It came with 350 miles on the clock and has never been dropped. My total investment including the bike itself, top quality safety gear, some luggage, supplies for the first 600 mile service, is just south of $5k; or, about one week’s family vacation at a Disney resort. Compared to that option I got a great deal!


    • jlcollinsnh says

      Congrats Jone!

      Lightly used motor bikes are one of this country’s screaming bargains and it sounds like you found a gem.

      I’ve always liked the look of the V7 Stone and my buddy has a Guzzi he loves.

      Seeing as time matters as well as miles, I’d do that 600 mile service right away.

      Enjoy and be careful out there!

      • Jone says

        Thanks Jim. First service was completed at 622 miles by my own hand. The right side intake valve was a touch tight, both heads needed torqued to spec, and all fluids were replaced with factory juice. All in all, an enjoyable two hours in the garage during a rainstorm. The bike now has just shy of 1,000 miles and is breaking in very nicely. I can’t say it gets much better gas mileage than my car (a Honda Insight…both are in the mid/upper 40’s) but it sure is more fun!

        Doing the service reminded me once again that a good set of tools will pay for themselves many times over. I called the dealership prior to doing the service and their quote was $307. I purchased the filter, fluids, a couple of spare valve cover gaskets from the same dealership and did the work myself for only $97. None of the tools required were unusual. The service just required a couple of allen wrenches, a set of feeler gauges, a torque wrench, and pair of pliers, a few common wrenches, and a basic socket set.

        • jlcollinsnh says

          “…a good set of tools will pay for themselves many times over.”

          Unless you are a ham fisted moron like me who in a blink of an eye can use those tools to turn a $307 job into a $1307 job. 🙂

  17. Charles says

    Keep riding! I had a 1953 Royal Enfield in high school in 1970. At that time it was sold under the Indian name.
    Getting into the wind is great at blowing the cobwebs out.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      What a cool bike to have, Charles…
      …especially for HS in 1970!

      Only two guys in my all-boys Catholic HS had motorcycles and how I envied them. 🙂

      Unfortunately, I don’t recall what they rode. But very likely nothing like a ’53 RE. I’d have remembered that. 😉

  18. Steve says

    Hi Jim,
    Thanks for all of your posts. You’re philosophy on finances and investing really scratches me where I itch. I wish I’d found these a few years earlier before I tried to pick stocks and time the market. But, I suppose we learn best from our failures. Anyway, I am in the process of relocating from Tucson, AZ to Hartford, CT for a work assignment. As I’ve been driving around exploring the countryside these past few weeks, I thought of your posts about motorcycling in the northeast. I’ve ridden dirt bikes since I was a little kid, but driving around here has given me the itch to get a street bike and really get to know this area over the summer. Maybe, I’ll cruise by your neck of the woods one of these days. Any suggestions for good rides?

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hi Steve…

      Cruise on by if you like, but we have been gone from NH for a couple of years now.

      Still, great riding to be had in NH, VT and western MA. I never got down to CT much. And it is a great way to explore the area.

      I’m not a dirt bike guy, but my friends who are seemed to find great riding in the NE as well.

      Of course, it is likely to be wetter more often than in Tucson. 🙂

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