Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Just my opinion.

Through my travels I encounter people from all walks of life. I find a twisted sense of comfort in the diversity of people and learning from them what it is in their lives that have formed their opinions.. We don't all think the same.

How many times have you heard this comment.. "the kids of today would rather play video games than to do something with their lives". I have said it. I have at a time truly believed it. But then one day in conversation I decided to be on the side of the kids for a change. The people I was with are of an older generation and fairly set in their opinions. As we talked it became easier for me to understand where their opinions were coming from. "When I was a kid we use to work all summer long de-tasseling corn or hoeing soybeans. Thats how I made money for school clothes". Yes Sir.. I understand.. I did the same thing as a youngster.. But here's the deal. Kids dont have that option anymore. AND kids don't have to do that anymore. When I was a kid I got up at 4am to meet the schoolbus at the local bar. 30-40 of us kids would ride out to a corn field and de-tassel corn till it was too hot for man or child to work.. Not one of us did that work because it was fun. We did it because we needed the money.. There were many a lesson learned making a dollar back then.. And todays kids dont have those opportunities. Today there is little that a kid can do that comes close to the freedom we enjoyed.. I grew up in a rural environment. If I wanted money it was as easy as stacking firewood for a neighbor or shoveling out the cow feedlot that was close to my house.. I'd grab a snow shovel on saturday morning and walk from one end of town to the other. I'd get home before the streetlights came on, with my belly full of food and my pockets full of cash.. That was the early 80's. What 12yr old could do that in 2013?...   When I was a kid I could push a lawnmower all over town and find a full days work.. Back then I wasn't competing with a lawn maintenance business with trucks, trailers, mowers, weedeaters, blowers and a client list that kept four men in full time work. Thats what a kid would be up against today..
Think about those minor victories you had in your childhood. Did you climb the water tower? Did you climb the fence to go swimming after the public pool was closed? Did you skip school and walk down the railroad tracks just to see where they went? Did you ever sneak out of the house and throw pebbles at a girls window hoping that she would join you.? Ya.. I even remember the first time I "Borrowed" somebodies car. Now think about what would happen if a kid tried to do those things today. Today the cost of getting in trouble is much higher than it was when we were a kid.. I call them minor victories because it was those events that helped form who I am today.. to put it another way,, If you could subtract those events from my life I would be a completely different person. My morals were tested. My sense of adventure was formed. My love for different types of music blossomed. Good or bad, The things we did as kids made us who we are today..

I've heard many a people bad mouth the younger generations.. I am just as guilty.. But, I've come to realize that we are judging by a standard that is as old as we are and that standard doesn't work anymore. When I was a child I was able to personally select my own mentors. I picked the people I wanted to be around. What child can do that in this day and time.?

I'm not sure what all the answers are. It could be that there are no answers. I can tell you this. I think the kids of today are lacking in opportunities.. They need those Minor Victories in their lives as much as we did. Those foundation stones that form the rest of their lives.. Some of them aren't getting at school. some dont get it from home. There is no mass social program that will cover all the variables.. I know there is one thing that will always work. Human Contact. There is no solution without human contact.. Here is my favorite question to ask a kid... "What do you want to be when you grow up?" It is always my hope that I can ask this next question.. "What can I do to help?" In the process of affecting a young life, you just might affect your own..

It's a long road to the grave. It is the collection of our lifes events that make us who we are.. We are evolving with every new experience and so are the young people around us.. It's just my opinion...

Until next time,

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Freedom Of No Speedo.

It started early in my life. I'm sure that I wasn't the first to figure it out. Many before me and just as many after me have learned what I did that day.. "I can go farther faster if I'm not on foot".. I know. Mind blowing shit ain't it.. It's a universal thing. We all utilize technology to increase our productivity and improve our lives. But, in the beginning, we rode for a different reason. We rode for the thrill and the fun of it. We pushed ourselves to excel at this new skill. We'd jump higher. We'd go faster. We'd go farther. We often even used our skills to impress both boys and girls and sometimes even the adults. As we grew up we would categorize people by what they were riding at the time. 
I don't know about you but I literally rode the tires off of my big wheel. That front tire was worn clear threw and was showing air when I was done with it.. I think that many of our era started out on a Big Wheel but there were many who came before us and they started their journey on other contraptions.
This was not the toy of a child. It was purchased and used by a breed of men who were willing to try something new. It wasn't long till those men were sharing this new form of transport and enjoyment with their children and neighbors. I wonder how long it was after the second one of these showed up in town that the challenge was made. "I bet you that I can beat you in a race". That is a part of what this story is about.. Measuring how fast was not as important as winning the race..
Back in the day my folks didn't have the means to buy all that I wanted and in hindsight I am thankful for it.. Lack of money is a good motivator and through hand- me- downs and junk yards a young boy with a want that was big enough could piece together a set of wheels and become the master of his own destiny. I was around eight yrs old when I pieced together my first of many death traps. As most boys who tinker know, it's part of the challenge to figure out what your machine will do. These tests would usually end with either injury or the machine being pushed to the breaking point. Live and learn had a special meaning back in those days..

I swear, I learned about gas and girls on the same weekend. One of my buddies had gotten a used trail 70 for his birthday and we took turns riding that thing around. While he was riding I was chatting up his older sister... It's been gas and girls ever sense..

There is no telling how many miles I had under my belt before I got a drivers license. I know for a fact that I had over one million miles on my Big Wheel and with the pedal bikes I probably had close to 10. The World completely changed the day that I learned to twist a throttle.. Faster. Higher. Farther.. It was a drug and it pushed us harder than anything else could. As the power increased so did the danger and we pushed our bodies as hard as we pushed our machines.. From hill climb competitions to camping trips that took us 40 miles down the railroad tracks. We had a sense of adventure that was equal to any raft trip that Huck Finn had ever planned in his dreams. We were free. Gas was $1.20 a gallon and the cops had not become a major problem yet in our lives, yet.
There was one thing that all of our wheels had in common. It was seldom, if ever that we had a speedometer. "How fast" was not all that important to us back then.. We would ride as hard as we could. We learned to make decisions based upon the variables that we had to deal with. weather. road conditions. equipment capabilities. The speed limit sign had no bearing on our decisions other than to make us go faster as we kept a watchful eye out for the law. We learned to ride without the standards that were set by lawmakers.. That double yellow line was not a concrete wall that would prevent us from cutting a corner. The recommended speed for a curve in the road meant next to nothing to us and the posted speed limit was just a suggestion.

It's happened several times in my life that the speedo got busted.. Those times it was just an aggravation that I would work towards fixing. A gear or a cable or a busted needle. It was never so much of a thing to shut down the ride. All it takes is compression, fuel and spark to make them go. Everything else was just an add on. I was too busy in life to see that a broken speedometer could be a connection to a simpler time in life.

 I reconnected with that time in my life with the help of this motorSickle I built.. 1971 Honda CB750 with a big bore kit and not a single instrument. I built this chopper to be in honor of the men of that era. I used the tools, technology and equipment that was available in that time.. And it damn sure didn't have a speedo on it.. That bike reminded me of a time when you rode on the edge of your comfort. It took me back to the time in my youth when things were closer to pure. I don't need a double line to let me know I can't safely pass. When I have a straight line of sight to the horizon I don't need to slow my speed just for the law mans sake. I don't need a tax payer funded paint line to tell me that its the edge of the road. I can see the edge of the road. It was completely refreshing to let the moment control me. Yes, there were times when I entered a curve too hot and locked up the slider wheel. There were many more times that I entered a curve slower than needed and I would turn around and hit it again. It's been a year sense I ran that chopper down the road but you can believe that she took me to amazing places down the road and in my mind..

There have been a few times in the last year that I have revisited that mentality.. I carry electrical tape on my bike and I have covered my speedo on more than a few occasions. It has never failed to take me back in time and improve my journey. Last week I had the pleasure to ride the Ozark mtns of Arkansas with a dear friend of mine. I went back to my childhood as we carved along the mountain roads. See, Nathan has a photographic memory and has ridden his bikes around these twists and turns for yrs. He is the kind of rider who pushes the edge of comfort all the time. As we rode through the mountains I didn't watch my speedo. I watched Nathan. In a short time I found a rhythm with him as the leader. It was a full moon evening and the two bikes behind us kept falling farther and farther behind. When we stopped for a smoke break it was brought to our attention that we were pushing too hard in the curves. Nathan and I did not agree. We were having a ball. I would have not ridden like that with another. It was his memory that gave me comfort. It was more than a speedometer could have ever given me.\

Tomorrow with the help of a little electrical tape I will continue my journey. My wheels will head north to Milwaukee for the 110th Anniversary party for Harley Davidson but my mind will journey back to The Freedom of No Speedo..When my slider wheel locks up and slides me 180degress, Its because thats how I did it on my Big Wheel. When I jump the curb and cross the grass to get to the fuel pump it will be because I've done it a hundred times on a dirt bike. Wheelies are a dying art form and power slides in gravel parking lots will always be cool....
 Could it be that the speedometer and  lawmakers are are the only things that hinder me.?

Until next time..

Sunday, July 28, 2013

When Duty Calls

As the Florida moon was glistening off the water I watched as she cast her bait net into the Indian River. Our plan was to go fishing in the morning at first light. And that's when I got the call.

My dear friend, Russ Niedwick was calling from the other side of the globe. It was midnight in Florida and he was still up and working. The question he asked me was layered with all of the un-knowns that can only be answered with questions.. "Hey Homie, What are you doin the week of the 4th of July"?.. "I've got no solid plans. Whats up?"  Ya see, Russ and his lovely wife, Nikki Lynn are involved in a few charitable organizations and I have been blessed to be involved with them on several occasions. One of the organizations is a non-profit called Veterans Support fund. Russ and Nikki have been strong supporters of our Veterans and active duty military. From organizing day trips and the Christmas party for the residence of the Daytona Beach Veterans Home to flying concerts for the troops into war zones around the globe. Each time I have been involved with them it has been a blessing to my soul. This phone call was to be the beginning of another amazing experience in my life..

"Don, We don't have time to put together  another concert right now but we have been throwing around another idea". Russ went on to tell me that they were planning on Hosting 8 wounded warriors from Ft. Campbell, Ky. for a week long retreat in Aspen, Colorado. What he described to me was an event that would encompass all the possibilities... Then he asked me to help. "Tell me when and where and I'll be there" was my reply. I didn't need to know anything more. I was familiar with the location because that is where Russ and Nikki had gotten married and that is when we filmed part of the TV show "Moonshiners". I have learned that these people don't do anything "half-assed" and I was confident that this event would be EPIC in scope.

Today there are over 22million people who have served this country. Over 6million of them are labeled as Disabled. Our Country has made great strides in addressing the needs of our Warriors but there will always be room for improvement.. Think about the the progress we have made, as a Nation, in the last 30 yrs. When I was in the Army back in the mid 80's, I was not aware of any programs such as this..

Southwest flight 422 from Nashville
Mike E, Marybeth E, and Jim E- pick up rental van and meet guys at gate.
Drive Denver to Basalt (dinner)
Tim Kieffer meet up w Mike E…

202 Midland Ave
Basalt, CO 81621
(970) 279-5021

Get settled/Unpack/Schedule review
*swag bags in all rooms
*cabin has little or no cell service- but there is a land line. (see cell phone list)

*7:00 AM – BREAKFAST AT CABIN (Marybeth)


Glenwood Adventure Co.
723 Cooper Ave
Glenwood Springs, CO
(970) 945-7529
Lunch provided
Dress: bathing suit, shorts, t-shirt, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, flip flops or sneakers, bring a change of dry clothes, towel.



Hickory House
730 W Main St
Aspen, CO
(970) 925-2313
Dress: casual- jeans and t-shirt etc…

10pm- concert starts
Belly Up
450 S Galena St
Aspen, CO




8 am - first 8 people
10 am - second 8 people

Aspen Paragliding
426 South Spring Street
(above the butchers block- in Aspen Bike store)
Aspen, CO
Dress: shorts and t-shirt or athletic gear, sneakers, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, sweatshirt if cold in am.

Ride Gondola up to top of Aspen Mountain
Lunch on sundeck/entertainment

*2:00 - 3:00 PM - RETURN TO CABIN
(good time to shoot with TED)



Snowmass Rodeo
2735 Brush Creek Rd
Snowmass village, co
Dress: jeans and t-shirt, boots/hat (if you have them) casual.




Four Mountain Sports
45 Village Run Circle
Snowmass Village, CO
(base of Snowmass Mountain at Gondola)
Dress: shorts and t-shirt or athletic attire, sneakers, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen.
***pads and helmets etc.. will be provided.
Woody Creek Tavern
2858 Upper River Rd
Woody Creek, CO



430 E Cooper Ave
Aspen, CO
Dress: jeans and t shirt, Bring sweatshirt or jacket for fireworks.



Shooting Range
West on Two Rivers Rd out of Basalt
Turn right on Homestead Dr
Take first left on to Kelly Lake Rd (dirt rd)
Follow up hill to range
Dress: shorts and t shirt, closed toe shoes, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen.

Smoke Restaurant
241 Harris St
Willits Town Center
Basalt, CO

Woody Creek Distillers- vodka distillers
60 Sunset Drive
Basalt, CO

*After tour:????????????????????
Return to cabin?
Bar crawl?

Dinner- return to cabin or stay out…

Two Rivers Café
156 Midland Ave
Basalt, CO
Frying Pan Anglers
132 Basalt Center Circle
Basalt, CO
Lunch in coolers, Multiple fly fishing guides provided
Dress: shorts and t-shirt, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, sneakers.

533 East Hopkins Ave
Aspen, CO
Dress: jeans and nicer shirt, shoes.

*10:00 - 11:00 PM - RETURN TO CABIN

The St. Benedicts Monastery
1012 Monastery Rd
Old Snowmass, CO
(970)279-4400 ext 12

Relax/pack/hike etc at cabin


Southwest flight 3218 to Nashville

TED NIEDWICK will be holding a shooting competition all week featuring different challenges.  When you have down time at the cabin talk with TED about completing your events.  We will keep running scores all week for all to see.  On Saturday we will award some killer prizes for the winners!

 After I received the above email, my suspicions were confirmed.. This was going to be an EPIC week.. I knew next to nothing of the people we would be hosting. or their limitations but I was excited to have the experience. I showed up a few days early just in case there was something I could do to help with the preparations but every detail had already been handled.. This gave me time to explore the Basalt/ Aspen area from the seat of my motorSickle.. I was thinking about the possibilities and the emotional connections that were bound to happen.. These people are my hero's. They have done the thing and came threw it.. A little battle rattled with scars and the stories of their times.. but let me back up a bit....

OH dark thirty..... 01 July 2013.. 8 of our Countries Finest are en route to Nashville International Airport.. They don't know what they have signed up for.. They have been briefed on the itinerary. They know the location. But they have no idea what they are about to encounter... (the thoughts that go threw a mind can sometimes be defeating.. a desire for more information is human. "How can I find comfort in the unknown?") This is a thought that goes threw the mind of every warrior, sense the beginning of time... outside the comfort zone is where we are tested. After landing Denver they are met by Mike and Marybeth. Mike is a Veteran of the Vietnam era and he and his wife are of the Golden type.. I am told that they welcomed our honored guests in such a way that they all were put at ease.. Passenger van. 2.5hrs ride to The Brick Pony in Basalt for Dinner and the meeting of the Honored Guests and their hosts...

We hit it off like it was old friends sharing new stories. There was not a hint of an awkward moment.. Hugs of greetings were the norm and the handshake was not good enough... Dinner was more than food.. As hosts we were able to build the bonds that gave comfort to our guests and there was an ease of conversation that let me know that I was amongst the best of people. Both hosts and guests...

Russ, Nikki and Vail.. The Driving force behind the Non Profit, Veterans Support Fund..

 After Dinner at The Brick Pony in Basalt, our guests were taken to their lodging in the mountains of Old Snowmass. (The picture above is of the backside of the cabin). Now understa

 nd, They had no idea where they were headed. A 30minute ride up a one  lane, gravel road in the dark landed them at one of the most opulent ranches is all of the Aspen area... We joked before hand of what might go threw their minds on the journey up to the cabin... Suffice is to say that they were pleasantly surprised.

The morning found us gathered on the rivers edge in Glenwood Springs.. The first group activity was to raft the river. It wasn't dangerous. but there was a man in my boat that had served Our Country for over 20 yrs... You can not imagine the conversations that we had,,, And I will not cheapin the moment by trying to explain the exchanges that we had. The moments of my life are pure and I knew this man as Golden...He shared with me his history. His goals. His dreams. His heart. I cared not a bit that we entered the rapids backwards.. truth.

Have you ever known a warriors heart.???  He was your neighbors son. Your science teacher. Your meter man. There is nothing but his soul that makes him different.
I had the pleasure of meeting a man. He showed me pictures on his phone..  I saw the pictures of the blown up truck that he was driving... it was a war zone.. Blown the fuck up.. After a year and a half he had learned how to laugh... a Lonely survivor. Why was I spared? I can not tell you of the journey that this man has been on. But I can tell you, He is a survivor. I can not share with you the bond that is forged in battle but I can tell you that survivor remorse is a real and demon possessed thing... The cost of war is known.

I kept thinking of the beauty of our surroundings. The horses in the meadows. The flowers in the fields. I have been in the foxholes and I have seen the brutality of the battlefield. I knew that the location could have a healing affect.. The smiles on their faces told me that I was right.

Part of the process is the reintroduction to "public". They will never understand where we have been or what we have seen... "we feel alone"...
I can tell you. without a doubt. John Popper and The Blues Travelers understand the value of those who serve... The venue owner didn't get it but that didn't matter. The band did.. the pictures don't lie..

what you can't see in the pictures is the true care that he had for each person in the group... Beyond his talent, I can tell you this... He could have left but he chose to stay.. He took the time to speak with each person in our group..Gifts and memories were exchanged.. and i'm sure that as much was given as was taken..

Here's the deal. This might be abrupt. there is nothing calm about battle.. It's in your face.Right now... It is the character of the American soul that makes the difference. She is a Lieutenant Colonel in charge of getting bullets and meals to the battle field... She has seen things that should never be seen.. Forget the fact that she has been on the fashion runway and has been known as a super model in an earlier life. Her children know her as Mom. Her parents know her as daughter  and her neighbors know her as a good person. I know know her as a Patriot and a friend to our Country....

I write of the things that I see and do.. I know that I am blessed by the people that I encounter. There is much wrong with our humanity but I am convinced that there are those amongst us that continue our hope in human race...

When Duty Calls..... 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Rambling Road

I left my farm for the last time on April 10th, 2013. The last of my possessions had left the day before. I had finally made the decision that I had been wrestling with for years. I had tried for the majority of my life to fit into society's box, for profit. I knew long ago that I didn't fit in but I would still put on the suit and negotiate with people who thought they were important. I owned a solid waste company, a recycling company, a portable toilet company and a construction/ demolition company. All that I had built from scratch. Work had completely consumed me and my life was all about taking ownership of other peoples problems. There  came a day when I decided that I was on the wrong road. I was not headed in the direction that I wanted to go.

It was time to shake down my new motorcycle build. As I pulled out of my driveway I knew that I was finished with that chapter of my life. I was ready to get on with the rest of my life. First thing I needed to do was to make sure that this bike was road ready.. and that first day included 68miles, two tow trucks and the knowledge that I could only go forward because there was nothing to go back too. It was also the beginning of a friendship that I know will last a lifetime.. Panhead Phil in Nashville became a part of my heart that day. That night found me in his bike shop sleeping on a couch listening to the rain.. Morning pushed me down the road with no worries and an eye on the western horizon. My destination was Arizona Bikeweek.

Shakedown runs are always eventful and this one was no different. I've learned that an extreme ride is the best way to become intimate with your bike because each one is as different as a woman. Im not gonna bore you with the mechanical s of my trip but it was those problems that put me in Dallas when I should have been in Phoenix. No complaints about a change of plans. Just deal with what you got and make the best of it.. The Best I could do was The Dallas Mudbug Festival with a dear friend.

Yes, That is a 16ft canoe full of crawdads.. We had a blast. My host took me around and introduced me to many amazing people. From the clubhouse to the beer joints and a biker spring fling.

I rolled out of Dallas and stopped in to see a friend from school who had just beat the hell out of breast cancer.. We had talked a bit over the yrs. but it was wonderful to catch up with her face to face. My pride was in the fact that she was and will always be an amazing survivor.

Rolling northwest and the bugs are out of the bike.. all is smooth and, and,,, what the hell just happened??? small town texas at 60mph and all of a sudden I've got a magnifying back tire wobble.. I cross a dust median and limp to a diner that I had just passed and park my flat tire right at the front door of the diner.. Im halfway between Wichita Falls and Amarillo with nothing to do but have some breakfast... As I'm eating my food an ole timer walks up and asks, "Is that your bike outside"? yes Sir... "Where you headed"? No where, I've got a blown tire.. "I was fixin to tell ya that". then he joins a round table full of other 70yr old men.. I finish my meal and called the Harley store in Wichita Falls to get a tire delivered. I walked up to the round table and asked if I could join them... I was warmly welcomed. "Gentlemen, I have a problem and I need your Help". That was all I needed to say. These men had been able to carve a life out of a dust field and sagebrush.. My problems were small in comparison.. Mr. LC took the day to help a stranger.. He found for me the things I needed. When we could not get the bead of the tire to seat he drove me to his sons sheet metal shop and we were able to get the tire aired up.. It was also where I was recognized by Mr. LC's daughter in law.. and they continued to treat me as a stranger in need.. I have often said and I believe it with all my heart.. "I Believe In The Kindness Of Strangers". Breakfast at 10am and at 3pm I was back on the road. There are still Golden people around us and I made sure that they understood how I felt about them..

Rolling on and not an interstate in my near future. I'm headed to Denver for The Cannabis Cup. This would be the first time in the history of the world that this event would be held in America. Plans change and I chose to spend my time with my friends in Colo. instead of with 20,000 stoners.. I made a good choice. I enjoy meeting new people but there are times when I enjoy the comfort of old friends. I have also found that the friends of my old friends are not strangers to me. We might have just met but we have things in common. My old friends don't hang with ass hats and douche bags. Colorado has always had a place in my soul and that fondness grows with each visit.. I will be there again soon.

Sometimes I have to take a moment to put things into perspective. My time in solitary confinement behind bars, on a motorSickle gives me time to think about all the things that effect me. Feelings, emotions, desires, direction. Why things are the way they are and what could be done to make them better. I took that moment of  perspective at the Colo./Kansas state line. As I sat in the dirt beside my bike I was reminded of an old saying.. "it don't matter how bad you want too, you can't push a chain". My "want" is not part of the big picture. I found another level of peace when I came to terms with that idea..

Across Kansas and up into Nebraska to have lunch with some old friends I hadn't seen in a couple of yrs. then on to P-town. Dinner with friends and an interrogation of my life choices from a lady friend that I have known for 30+ yrs. She asked the hard questions that only a true friend knows to ask. I left with a new appreciation of our friendship and a comfort from having to express the answers to those most personal questions. I know how I truly feel because she made me put it into words knowing that I am unable to lie to her. That is a  true friend.

Down threw Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas and Tennessee for a birthday party with My Maggie Grace.. Time was short but the time together was priceless. I was glad to see her and her mother doing so well. Next stop, Maggie Valley, NC. for the spring fling at Wheels through Time Museum. Twas good to spent some time with my friend Matt.. As the sun was setting I headed over the ridge to Sylva. There is not much new I can add about the clan of misfits that I call my family in Western Carolina. Most of it is covered by a statue of limitations.. I'll save all that for a death bed confession..

Next stop, Florida. Tattoo's, drinks, old friends, new ones, motorSickle miles, hot chicks, and more drinks. Then the realization that I no longer had a license plate or taillight.. where the hell did that go.??? oh well. Next morning Im at FnA custom cycles in Lakeland and Eric is hooking me up with a new tag bracket and tail light.. But the problem still exists. I dont have a license plate.. so I do what all good ole boys do.. I make one..

and that piece of plastic written in sharpie made it to Iowa Grand Rally where it melted while I was doing a burnout on top of the bar to celebrate the wedding of a couple that had just got married.. The next day I found a white metal sign and made me a new license plate and it seems to be holding up quite well.. but let me back up a bit... So I pull out of florida headed to Morgantown, WV. to check on a friend. after a day of 4wheeling and a weekend of boating,, I think he will be alright.

Next stop, Pittsburgh. good times. great people..
Then it was on to the Iowa Grand Rally for some fun that turned into me working as the Master of Ceremony for the rally... Ya, I rocked that crowd pretty damn Hard...
 Then it was on to Minnesota to spend some time with some special people in my life..

then onto The knuckle Shuffle in Yuba, Wisc. in support of my dear friends Teach and Rodeo..

This was a fundraiser for a high school shop class that teaches kids how to build choppers... cool shit..

I rolled out of Yuba headed to Austin for The ROT Rally and decided to take a short break on the road..
nothing like stopping in OKC for a TESLA  concert with a friend.. Back on the road at 11pm. I rolled into Austin to meet up with my people and we  had a great time.
There were some guys there too but Hey, what do I care.. lol. We all had a great time..

So,,, as I sit here in Plano, Tx. Thinking of this journey that I have been on for the last couple of months I know that I am Blessed and well favored.. I have a wealth that cannot be bought or traded.. That wealth is from the people that I have in my life. They are my value and my worth. and the common denominator is,,, MotorSickles . Two wheels move my soul.

Until next time......

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Other Side of a Motorcycle Rally

It's time for me to drop some names. Some events have transpired that you good people should be privy too. You won't hear tell of this in main stream media and it won't be on any docu-drama, made-for-Television mini series about Bikeweek. Once again, the powers of Good have been victorious. But I digress.

Jay Allen of The Broken Spoke owns and rides an ole Harley that is a tribute to The U.S. Army and all who have served in it. It was his dream to gather together four more motorcycles, each representing the other branches of the US Military. As a Champion for American Veterans, Jay Allen's dream turned into a project. May, 2012 at the 25th anniversary of Rolling Thunder in Washington D.C. five bikes were unveiled representing each of the five branches of our military. Space being limited, I can not tell you of each bike and the amazing people involved in their creation but I can tell you that each is a Tribute and worth learning about.

Rolling Thunder is the largest one day motorcycle event in the USA. Held annually in Washington DC. Founded by Mr. Walt Sides.  "Rolling Thunder’s mission is to educate, facilitate, and never forget by means of a demonstration for service members that were abandoned after the Vietnam War. Rolling Thunder has also evolved into a display of patriotism and respect for all who defend our country." Last yrs event was attended by an estimated 1.3 million people. Walt and his lovely wife, Laura have taken on the task of escorting these five tribute bikes around the country to events for the public to appreciate them and to bring awareness to the cause.

Russ Niedwick and his wonderful wife, Nikki Linn operate a non profit organization called Veterans Support Fund. They have "adopted" the men and women who live at the Veterans Home in Daytona Beach, Fla. Now, when  I say "adopted" I mean they care. Taking them to lunch and afternoon outings. Playing Santa and providing gifts to each one and helping with things such as prosthetic limbs. They know these Veterans all by name. It is truly a blessing to see how they care for our Nations Hero's.

On the 6st of March, 2013, two days before the beginning of Bikeweek, the above mentioned people did a great thing. Without pay or compensation, Without media attention or fanfare these people got together and set up the five tribute motorcycles for the viewing pleasure of the residence of the Veterans Home. These people took the time to have conversations and share stories with these Hero's. For several hours on a beautiful Florida afternoon these people gave of themselves the one true gift that our Veterans want and rightfully deserve. They gave of their time.

Of all the things that make it Bikeweek, The freaks and clowns, the traffic and concerts, the bars and the nightlife, the gathering of friends and the pasties, the people watching and the burn-outs, all of those things and more are possible because of those who came before us. Jay, Walt, Laura, Russ and Nikki and others understand the importance of what these men and women have done for our country. I consider myself blessed to have known them and I am proud to call them friends.

At the entrance to the Veterans Home in Daytona is a sign that reads. "The cost of Freedom is visible here" 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Sponsor Spotlight. Jaybrake

Jaybrake manufactures forward foot controls, hand controls, brake calipers, and other motorcycle accessories to fit Harley-Davidson and American V-twin Motorcycles. These made in the USA billet motorcycle accessories are certain to help you personalize your custom or Harley-Davidson.
Jaybrake has been manufacturing precision motorcycle accessories to fit your American V-twin since 1981 and is both an ISO certified and TUV certified company.Jaybrake is most recognized for our performance billet aluminum brake calipers with designs to directly mount to Harley-Davidson  Sportster, Dyna, Softail, Vrsc, CVO, and Touring motorcycles. Jaybrake also has forward foot controls engineered to mount to entire Harley-Davidson line-up including the J-fl forward controls specifically designed to fit the Baggers.

Some of the other accessories Jaybrake manufactures are: hand controls, the Tranzbrake, grips, pegs, handlebar switch housings, mirrors, and much more...

 Be sure to check out their website at http://www.jbrake.com/index.html

Friday, February 8, 2013

Sponsor Spotlight. Dakota Digital.

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For over 25 years  Dakota Digital has manufactured the highest quality instrumentation and specialty electronics for custom cars, trucks, motorcycles and many things in between. Our facility is located in the heartland of the country, on the outskirts of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Here, nearly all products are designed, developed and manufactured from start to finish...right here in the USA by folks who care about the products we sell and the thousands of customers using them. When purchasing Dakota Digital products, you can rest assured you are not only getting the best products, but also the best service and support available.

From Dakota Digital
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Dakota Digital is proud to introduce the next generation bar mount speedometer. The MCL-5000 Series replaces the popular HLY-5011. As with all of the MCL-5000 Series gauges these speedometers are easily visible in direct sun.
Features include:
  • 0- 255 MPH/ km/H user adjustable speedometer
  • Odometer and Trip Odometer
  • Indicators for Left and Right Turn Signals, Highbeam, Neutral, Low Oil Pressure and Check Engine
  • Choice of Black or Chrome housing
  • 3-1/2" x 2"

Classic Speedometer/ Tachometer Information Center
From Dakota Digital
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Classic Speedometer/ Tachometer Information Center
Introducing the latest in a long line of great gauges!  The MCV-7000 series really does have it all.
Dimensions: 5-7/8" x 2" x 1-3/4" D
  • 0-199 MPH or KM/H Speedometer
  • 0-8,000 RPM Bar Graph Tachometer with 0-16,000 numeric readout
  • Oil Pressure Gauge, (sender included)
  • Voltmeter
  • Fuel Level Gauge, (bike must be equipped with a stock sender)
  • Gear Position Readout
  • Clock
  • Million Mile Odometer with Dual Trip Meters and Countdown Service Meter
  • Turn Signal, High Beam, Neutral, Low Oil, Low Fuel, Low Voltage, Service Engine/Wait to Start Indicators
  • Performance Displays such as 0-60 MPH/KM/H Timer, 1/4 Mile Time and Speed, High Speed and RPM Recall
  • Positive Locking Connectors for all Wires
  • Choice of Black or Chrome housing.
 Be sure to check out their website for all your instrumentation needs