Sunday, December 26, 2010

The longest road. part 3

Big Mountain Run 2010 was an event put on by Cycle Source Magazine. This event started with a pre party at Wicked Willies Choppers in Taylorsville NC. I met the owner, Wayne, and he welcomed me. I am not an introvert by any means but I do see the logic of evaluating a situation. I knew absolutely no one at this party. Time would change that. I met a man that night that I have come to know as a friend. His name is Wes Hackett. In the morning we gathered up and set out to the Harley store in Statesville to meet up with some folks that were gonna ride with us. I don't know the total count but there was around 60 bikes total. We set off like a band of Gypsy's heading to Wheels through Time motorcycle museum in Maggie Valley. We were welcomed by the staff as if we were family. This was my first trip to the museum and I was overwhelmed by the volume of artifacts in this place. I was so amazed, I would find myself back there 4 more times this year. But lets get back to that one night. Imagine 60 plus bikes rolling in to a parking lot. Imagine within one hour a tent city is set up. Some went into the museum. Some went for food. Some went for drinks. Some started the bonfire. I laid a blanket out on the ground and talked some chic into rubbing my back. The backrub was nice but the ridicule was priceless. We all gathered round the bonfire and some heavy drinks. A joyous time was had by all. In the morning everyone started loading out. A few who had imbibed a bit much decided to take a dip in the creek to cure their hangovers. The days ride would lead threw the Tail of the Dragon and the Cherohala Skyway.   I was towing my pop up camper behind the bike. I had been on both the upcoming roads so I decided to take a different route to the Hiawassee campground. A wonderful day of riding in the mountains with a hangover that would have killed Popcorn Sutton, I made  my way to a liquor store and a grocery store. At the campground I was cooking steaks, taters and pasta salad when everyone came riding in.. And the ridicule began. One of the advantages of a camper is you have room to tote a stove and a cooler. I was envied by more than a few. There were probably around 150 people in attendance. I have to say that I met some of the greatest people on planet earth. I could tell you what all we did. I could tell you of all the shenanigans. I could tell you of the white water rafting with a group of cats out of WV. or about the mini bike races and an official wedding that we had. but my words would not do justice to the event. I can say this, If you desire to understand this way of life, get yourself a subscription to Cycle Source and make it to the next event.
Earlier I mentioned a cat by the name of Wes Hackett. I have known some highly deranged individuals befor but this cat takes the cake. For some reason me and him forged a bond that kept us up till daylight every day of BMR. We met up later in the year in Santa Rosa, NM. and then rode across country on The Long Road. I've been to his house in Kansas City about 6 times. I met him in WV at a benefit for one of the guys we met at BMR. and he came to my house in Tennessee and for a week, he tried to drink all my moonshine. I've slept on his couch and he has slept with my dog. I tell ya. If ya have scooters in your heart. get on a scooter and ride, you will find the people that you will call friend for the rest of your life.  
until next time.... PEACE & GREASE 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Longest Road. Part 2

My oldest daughter had turned me on to facebook and I thought that it would be a good way for us to keep in touch. So with a little prodding, I sat up an account. Through the internet I was introduced to a guy who lives close to me. He told me about the V-twin expo in Cincinnati and I loaded up the tahoe with wife and child and headed into the snow towards Ohio. As luck would have it,,, I was told at the expo that you had to have a pass to get in. I called the guy that had told me of the expo and I said, "Hey Bean're, They don't want to let me in." We met up at the coffee shop in the Hotel and I have to tell ya, I met a golden guy. After coffee, we set out to get me a pass. It took all of about 1 minute for him to get me a pass from one of his friends. I have ran into Kevin on quite a few occasions and I have always found him to be a character. One of the many great people I would find on my road.
Winter has seldom been a good time for riding in Tennessee but with the aid of my heated suit, I was able to ride out of town and head south. I have family all over Georgia and I had lived in Florida for a number of years. I travelled all over the gulf road from Jamacia Beach, Tx. to Tampa. Then it was time to head to Bikeweek. It had been almost 10 yrs sense I had been but I thought it would be a good run. Cold would be an understatement. I spent the day riding around seeing all the old places I use to haunt and then I pulled into South Daytona and found the Limpnicke lot. What a great time. Cool bikes, cooler people. I had made no provisions for where I would sleep so I set out for Ormond Beach in hopes of finding a room for the night because the temps were still dropping. No Vacancy signs are now a thing of the past. Use to be you could drive around looking for a room. Now you have to park and go in to be told they have no rooms available. I found a semi truck parked in the back parking lot of a hotel. I pitched my tent next to his trailer tires and slept the night away. You may wonder why, The trailer blocked the view of the security camera and I was able to sleep all night without being run off. Early morning and I'm packed up. Destination IHOP beach side. I pull in and park then realize there are 100 motorcycle enthusiasts waiting to get in. I'm not feeling the love so I'm ready to go somewhere else but my bike isn't. Push on the start button and nothing. Out come the tools and over come the 100 riders to tell me what my problem is. I stand in amazement that they are able to diagnose my problem from 50 ft away. haha. After I cleared the crowd I figured out that my starter button had shit the bed but with a short jumper wire I was able to get the bike started. Down the road. I spent the day bouncing around New Smyrna and Edgewater. I spent the afternoon at the annual oyster roast at Magoo's. As night was setting I decided I would head south and find me a room. No such luck. Before I got to Titusville my headlight quit working. I-95 pitch black is not a good place to be without a headlight. I followed a trailer that had a shiny back door until the next exit. Only thing there was a closed gas station and a closed McDonalds. I pitched my tent at McDonalds and slept the night away. That is until the morning manager started ranting and raving outside my tent. I finally had to tell her to go fix my breakfast to get her to shut up. Next stop was south of Orlando at a friends house. Worked on the bike a bit and had a good day of catching up. In the morning I headed back to Tennessee.
As spring was coming on my road trips were beginning to get longer and my wife was beginning to get sore. Spring break I loaded her up on her bike and we set out for the Louisiana bayou. 8 days of puttering about to the ends of all the roads we could find. I had bought a pop up camper to pull behind the bike and me and the Mrs. had a great time. We had timed it just right. 3 weeks later BP oil had what they called an accident. From this trip she gained a bit of understanding as to the joy of traveling the road with no destination in mind. She has enjoyed a few long trips with me this year including the Bourbon trail in Kentucky and a trip up to West Virginia. We have put quite a few miles on together. She is quite a trooper.
My next event stop was being called a Gypsy run. This sounded right up my alley. I met up with some hooligans in Taylorsville NC. This was the beginning of The Big Mountain Run.
Until next time

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The true Long Road.

It has been almost a year sense I sat out on the longest journey of my life. That journey started in my driveway a few days befor new years eve. 2009 as I set out on my motorcycle to head to Memphis to be with friends and celebrate the new year with them. I had no Idea what the year had in store for me.  After 36 states and 6 trips across the Continental divide, I think I have a story to tell.
   The morning of Jan. 01, 2010 was cold. I had invested in a heated suit and my 2002 Honda VTX 1800 was ready to ride. We set out for a day of just tooling around but our trip was put on hold because my buddies wife couldn't deal with the cold. By the time we returned to their house, my friend was so pissed that he asked if I wanted to ride over to Oklahoma to see a service buddy of his. This would be the norm for my year of riding. No real plan, just a throttle and a map. Most of my trips would last between a week and two weeks. Always finding my way home to the center of my universe. My loving wife Shelly and our wonderful 5 yr old Maggie. I have always had a sense of wanderlust in me and Shelly understands this need in me. A greater blessing has no man known than the understanding of a woman.
       I went to school in the mid west and because of that I know alot of people up that way. Through the use of social networks I have been able to reconnect with alot of people from my past. I found my best friend from school days up in Omaha. 850 miles on a screaming frozen motorcycle and I was trying to explain to his wife why Chris is the way he is. Dinner, drinks and a few hours on a couch catching up on the last 20 plus years. Never one to overstay a welcome, a quick look at the weather and I learn I can't go back the same way because St. Louis is in a blizzard. I head south to Eureka Springs, Ark. A wonderful little craft village built into the hills of the Ozarks.
     These long trips give me time to think and sometimes that is more than my twisted mind can handle. I would liken the bad times to solitary confinement. There are times that the beast within can take over a mind and you find out what your meddle is. I can tell you this, sometimes time to think is not a good thing. During these times of internal struggle my main defense is an mp-3 player full of all kinds of music.
      Back at home base. I get a call. Come to Memphis, lets go for a ride. I'm gone. We meet up in Memphis and I'm informed that we are going to St. Louis to meet up with his family for a party and then we will ride with his brother. Good party with good people, young and old. We look at the weather map in the morning and find there is no place we can go and not meet bad weather. Our choice is this, titty bars in east St. Louis or bad weather riding.. we ride. Sometimes 10 miles sometimes 80. We spent 3 days riding all over Missouri and Arkansas in some of the worst weather I would experience all year. At one point I went to put my feet on the floorboards when I noticed that I had over an inch of ice on the soles of my boots. Then the bike problems started. Water cooled engines have a radiator. mine has no protection from road spray. My radiator froze over and I blew a head gasket. Outside of St. Louis I put my bike into a U-haul for the first time in my life. Straight home and into the motor. complete rebuild and bored it out to 1980cc's.
   It took almost a year to live this story so I doubt that you want to read it all in one setting. I will add more very soon.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Spud Gun competition at Big Mountain Run 2011

We are proud to announce that the I AM DON WOOD.BLOGSPOT is sponsoring the 2011 BIG MOUNTAIN RUN SPUD GUN COMPETITION

4 categories........

Event to be held at the campground on Saturday afternoon.
Trophies awarded to all four categories


ONE RULE.......

please send e-mail to

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Is that a motorcycle or what?

I love motorcycles and most of what is accociated with them. I enjoy my version of the lifestyle and spending time with like minded people. I consider the time that I wrench on a bike to be a pleasure, not work. The time I spend on the saddle is all about therapy for me. This past weekend I went to the Atlanta Easyrider motorcycle show. I saw some friends at the Limpnicke lot and we spent some time catching up with each other and talking about the projects we each have going on. These guys had thier bikes on display and the banner above them was correct. "The next Generation of cool". These bike builders have figured out that cool comes in many shapes and styles.
I took a walk around the show to see what others were doing in the bike building universe and I was amazed. The first thing that cought my eye was the back of a Harley Davidson that had some fiberglass or plastic on it that had been molded to resemble the claws of a bird. WTF..? As I walked to the side scratching my head, I was amazed to see that the builder had continued the bird motif with some 3 foot long molded feathers and paint. The detail was very impressive. I got to the front of the bird to find a reproduction of an eagles head sticking 18 inches out from the fairing. I got a bit of vomit in my mouth as I considered the volume of mind altering acid that a person would have to take to consider any part of that thing to be cool. This was not the exception but the rule. I saw some shit that didn't even come close to being cool. I saw what must have been a 32 inch front tire on a bagger. I saw a thing that had a chrome skull headlight and a chromed skeleton of a backbone and ribs mounted above a gas tank. And I saw enough LED lights placed on bikes to burn a fellers eye balls.
I am no athority but I know what I like. Cool to me can be covered with just the basic of parts. It is the builder that can take those basic parts and do something special with them that embodies cool to me. So go ahead and build your theme bikes and pay for the Orange County Choppers t-shirt, Wrap it in all the LED lights you can get your hands on. Dress in all the newest fashion and a set of leathers in the 100 degree heat. Stand beside your bike and act like you have made it to the world series. I'll stand back and watch. With a smile on my face and a chunk of last nights dinner easing up my throat, I will give you what you are do, Nothing. PEACE & GREASE.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The greatest wreck of my life.

The end of August, 2010 I sat out on an epic journey that would place me in 16 states over a three week period. I left out of middle Tennessee with a first destination of Milwaukee. Some crazy cats that I had met at Sturgis were having their semi-annual Shed party and I felt inclined to introduce them to some of the finest Tennessee moonshine white liquer I have ever made. I spent an afternoon at the Harley Museum and then two nights partyin' with some of the greatest people on planet earth. The moodshine flowed like wine and there were some friendships that were forged by the time we shared together.. Next stop, Minniapolis to see a man called Kevin (Teach) Baas. a few beers, some good conversation and a good nights sleep was just what my body and soul needed. In the morning, I went to Kennedy High school where Teach works with a class of kids building some fine chops and bobs. It was good to see the setup that was teaching the next generation of coolness. The cold was setting in so I decided to reroute my trip. Originally, I was planning on heading west and carving up the Black Hills but because of the temp. drop I decided to blaze my trail south.. Next stop, Kansas City. I met a man at the 2010 Big Mountain Run named Wes Hackett whom lives in K.C. We have spent alot of time and miles together this year. Dinner,drinks and some legend building with Wes and his lovely wife then a couch nap and I was ready for the Santa Fe Trail. Next stop, Dodge City, Kansas then on to the Contenental divide for the fourth time this year. Wolf Creek Pass in Colorado was in full color and a short stop at the top reminded me of how cold colorado snow is. on through Durango and the loop around the four corners it was time for me to start making tracks to meet up with some people in Phoenix. Long Jon and Pinky Barwood are two of the greatest people on planet earth. I have spent time this year with them in Montana, South Dakota, Ohio and two weeks at my house in Tennessee. I stayed with them until Shelly, my wife, flew in for her fall break from teaching. Me and the wife decided to take a quick trip up to the Grand Canyon. Riding through Prescott, Jerome and Sedona on our way to Flagstaff was some of the finest riding that I have ever exsperienced. The Grand Canyon was, well Grand but we hit it like the Griswalds and shagged back down to Phoenix for a bike night we were to meet some more friends at. Our weekend plan was to ride to Tombstone for Helldorado days. Ten of us loaded up and headed south. When we hit Tucson we were assaulted by the worse dust storm I have ever been in but this group of hooligans pressed on. We arrived at Tombstone to be greeted by George The Painter standing on a four lane road stopping traffic and directing us into The Porn Compound. Our digs for the weekend. Somehow, that night, we consumed over 2 gallons of moonshine and learned all kinds of new things about each other.. We rode, We ate, We drank, We talked. We hugged and laughed. We sang and we danced. After a great weekend with good friends and some of the coolest bikes known to man, it was time to head back towards Phoenix. Interstate 10 exit 263 northbound. our group of 9 hit a pothole in the road. My first indication of a problem was when I saw Robert Pinner and his knucklehead bounce 18 inches above the ground 30 feet in front of me. The next thought that went through my mind as I was sliding down the exit ramp on my stomach at 65 mph was, "I need to get Shelly out of the road befor she is run over".What a helpless feeling it is when someone you love is getting hurt right befor your eyes.Our friends took ove our lives at that point. ALL THINGS WERE TAKEN CARE OF. Let me explain. As we lay in the trauma unit, our friends arainged for Jack Shit to bring a Trailer to get our totalled bike and trailer. All of our gear was secured. Our daughter was called and comforted. They even called the airline to get an exstension on my wifes flight ticket. I can tell you, I know some of the greatest people on planet earth. We were released from the hospital and Jack took us to his house where he and his lovely wife, Diane, gave us aid and comfort for 2 days as we got our bearing. My wife flew back home to Tennessee and I stayed in Phoenix with Long jon and Pinky for a few more days. I ended up renting a u-haul and driving all my broke shit back to Tennessee. We are healing. I have issues with my right shoulder and both my ankles but we both know that we have been blessed to come through this with no more than the severe beating that we sustained. Some non riders that we know asked if we are going to sell the bike and went so far as to say that they were sorry that the wreck had ruined our trip.. And my lovely wife said.... " That was the greatest wreck of my life".

Monday, November 8, 2010

Lost camera bag

Anyone that was at the Lone Star Rally and was at Yaga’s last night, we need your help. Chris Callen- editor- of this magazine lost his camera bag. It is very important that we can get this bag back in his hands. If you know where it is, please contact Chris at right away. His business card is in the bag.
Please repost this on your sites. Thank you!

This was just sent to me. This should apply to Motorcycle Stops as well.

A civil liberties group filed a federal lawsuit
Thursday challenging the use of "stop and frisk" searches by
Philadelphia police, alleging that the policy is violating the rights
of blacks and Latinos who have done nothing wrong.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania filed the lawsuit
on behalf of eight men – including a state lawmaker – it says were
subjected to illegal searches since the city started using "stop and
frisk." The searches have been a controversial element of Mayor
Michael Nutter’s first term.
In the lawsuit, the ACLU cites city data showing that 253,333
pedestrians were stopped last year, compared with 102,319 in 2005.
More than 70 percent of the people stopped last year were black and only 8.4 percent of all stops led to an arrest, the ACLU said.
The lawsuit, which seeks class-action status, seeks unspecified
damages and a court injunction. It also alleges that police
Commissioner Charles Ramsey has failed to train and discipline
Using "stop and frisk" to reduce crime can be legal, but officers must have a reason for suspicion, said Mary Catherine Roper, an attorney for the ACLU of Pennsylvania.
"Our belief is that people are being stopped because of their race and not because of any individual activity that should raise any suspicion by police," said Roper, adding that stops were made by both black and white officers.
The use of stop-and-frisk searches has been a focal point of Nutter’s campaign to slow violent crime, which is down since he took office in 2008.
The police department and Nutter’s office did not immediately comment on the lawsuit when contacted by the Associated Press.
In New York, civil rights advocates have also challenged the use of
stop and frisk; a lawsuit filed against the New York Police Department by the Center for Constitutional Rights is pending.
Darius Charney, a staff attorney for the group, said 85 percent of the people stopped in New York over the past six years have been black or Latino.
Of those 575,000 pedestrian stops, about 6 percent have ended in an arrest and 1.5 percent have resulted in the recovery of a weapon, said Charney, who said it was an example of "over-aggressive policing."
Officers "target communities of color. They really behave as if they
are occupying forces in a community," Charney said. "New York is by no means the only place where this is a problem."
In Philadelphia, the lawsuit filed Wednesday tells the stories of
state Rep. Jewell Williams, a 52-year-old Philadelphia Democrat, and seven others who said they were stopped without reason by Philadelphia police. In March 2009, Williams said he was handcuffed and pushed into a police vehicle after asking questions during a traffic stop involving two other men. Ramsey later apologized to Williams.
Another plaintiff, Mahari Bailey, a 27-year-old attorney, said he was stopped on four occasions over 18 months; the only charge against him, driving with tinted windows, was thrown out in traffic court, the lawsuit said.
- Associated Press
Sturgis Freedom Fighters
Motorcycle Hall Of Fame Member 2005


I have officially been drop kicked into The Technological Age. I now am completely plugged in to this planet by way of Facebook, a Tweeter account and my very own blog. Amazing. I will make you this promise.... This social thing ain't gonna keep me from twisting my throttle and going out to be social face to face. Those of you who know me know that I put a large number of miles on my bike and if this little social box can keep up than its welcome to come along. You will often see me typing in a plural sense. ( I say we alot). The reason I do this is because there is usually someone else involved in what I'm doing. Quite often that person is my lovely wife. She fills many rolls in my life but the one I cherish the most is being able to call her friend. With that said,,, I want to tell ya, We got alot of stuff planned for the coming year, some 2 wheel, some 4 wheel and some that ain't got no wheels. The future, I promise, will be better than the past.
I want to take a moment to thank Lisa M. Ballard for all her help and support getting me into this age of communication. Thanks, my friend. I AM DON WOOD

Gypsy Biker Bed Rolls

Check out our Gypsy Biker Bed Rolls - they are weatherproofed and travel easily on your bike. Perfect for all you old school bikers who just want something to throw down on whatever patch of ground or floor is available.
We are currently working on a website and will have the link up shortly.