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.......

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